Ever since my father-in-law became ill, I’ve been trying to put myself in Patrick’s situation as a way to understand what he was experiencing – a difficult task since both of my parents are alive and healthy. I just tried to imagine how sad, how lost, how hollow I would feel knowing that my mom or dad was just days from death. I imagine the sense of panic would be overwhelming. I know I would feel sick to my stomach. I would feel desperate, wishing we could share just one more conversation…just one more laugh.

A couple of weeks ago something happened that changed my view on what was going on in our lives. It happened again last night. I saw Patrick holding Griffin in his arms and I began to see things not through the eyes of a child losing a parent, but through the eyes of a mother. There they were – both peaceful and asleep. Patrick and Griffin. Father and son. Daddy and baby. It was then that I realized that my mother-in-law, while mourning the loss of her husband of 45 years, was also mourning the loss of her babies’ father. And yes, I know that her “babies” are 38 and 41 years old, but I don’t think age changes those motherly emotions. So I stood there last night watching the two of them and I began to realize how sad I would be, how completely empty I would be to see Griffin lose his father. I desperately wanted to take a picture – to capture that image of pure love – but I didn’t. I knew they would both wake up and I didn’t want to ruin that moment. Instead, I soaked it in, trying to burn that moment and that image into my brain. Daddy and Griffin…

Advertisements