--- 18 Months Old ---
Today, you are now officially a year and a half, and quite honestly, the growth you've made over the past six months since my latest letter (on your 1st Birthday) has been tremendous.
As I sit here and punch the keys, you are a little guy full of energy, and super smiles that accompanies your joy and intrigue for everything around you, including your budding verbal communication that is absolutely adorable.
In fact, it was just two years ago around this time when we began to share with everyone about your existence, and impending arrival. That Christmas was special. I'll never forget it. Especially for me, in watching my father go from semi-understanding his surroundings, then hearing the news of you arriving in six months, and suddenly being locked in and overjoyed as if the hold of dementia - or at the very least, in that moment - no long had a hold on him.
So yes, today you officially complete 18 months on this earth, and things are a bit different. As you can imagine from previous posts (A Few Hours to Live and A Few Hours to Live II), this holiday season has been especially tough for me. My father, your grandfather, sits in a rehab facility with so many questions marks around his future, with only one certainty, the man that I knew throughout my entire life is no more.
Of course, it is tremendously sad. As I learn to deal with that very undeniable and stinging fact, I now have this growing part of my heart that thinks about him everyday. And of course, a gnawing feeling that leads to me missing him everyday.
Yet, what really takes me to so many places, to which I've yet to truly understand, comprehend, or even make sense of, is the idea that you will never meet him.
That thought, and the many avenues my mind winds and and heads to after this very thought makes me so sad. I'm not even sure how to articulate or represent that feeling as I hit my keyboard.
I've never met my either of my grandfathers as both passed away prior to my birth. And even so, the second version of my father, the one who battled dementia over the past few years, to whom you yourself actually shared a short period of time with, was just as interesting of a person and carried the same spirit as well. This was proven as you connected with him more so than any of your grandparents early in your life.
And quite frankly, it was amazing how easy you both took to one another whenever we visited my parents - your grandparents.
Nonetheless, it is indeed something I have to deal with. I'm not sure how I will, or if I ever will, but this first Christmas season in remembering those announcements, and now celebrating your 18 month existence, along with going through my first Christmas without my dad's true spirit, has me in many directions of thoughts and emotions. All of them with the ultimate finale of this - I really wish you two could have spent more time together.
I don't know what the future holds, or even, how much time my father physically has left with us. But with these thoughts, I do want you to know this - your grandfather was a super charismatic guy who was passionate, hardworking, understanding, selfless, hilarious, intriguing, and yes flawed (boy, was he stubborn), but most of all, he didn't make life to be more than it should.
He always, always, always, kept life simple. Work hard. Laugh Often. Love Lots.
Ironically, it is what is getting me through this Christmas season. As it's everything I want to pass down to you. And nothing else.