But he came anyway, that weekend in October, because it was Z's Grandparents Day at her school and he didn't want to miss it.
So he didn't.
He rallied. He and my mom watched her do a few of her works and ate the snack she brought to them. My dad gamely played Grampa Jungle Gym on the playground and just had to try out the kiddie bikes that go in a circle.
I wish I didn't feel the need to blur out the kids' faces because they are laughing their heads off.By the end of the weekend, he was pretty miserable. On Monday, he found out he had shingles. On Thursday, he found out his cancer had returned, this time in his brain.
To say this hangs heavy on my heart, on my days, is an understatement. I knew that nothing in life is promised, that every day is precious and shouldn't be taken for granted. I knew that. I know that.
Cancer, I don't fucking need to be reminded of that.
By the way, I love to address my anger to "Cancer", like it's a person. Someone to be reasoned or bargained with, or if all else fails, to be beaten into submission. It's not, of course, and there is no reasoning or bargaining with this wily and vicious disease that has touched or will touch so many of our lives. But talking to it helps. Yelling at it helps more. The anger has to go somewhere.
He has completed his three weeks of radiation, battered, weakened but hoping to be victorious this time. When we went to go visit them two weekends ago, he was tired. But not too tired to tell Z bedtime stories, which, next to playing with my old collection of Barbies, is her favorite part of visiting my parents.
They are always princess stories and they always have to have happy endings.