Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Package

It sits collecting dust I assume, on the top of the cabinet in our dining room. Wrapped in crayon marked paper, the Father's Day gift we will never be able to give.
I walk past it countless times during the day. Sometimes, passing without notice, other times my eyes fixate on it, and I pause.
Thinking of the "should haves" and "could haves".
The days leading up to Father's Day this past June, we prepared handmade gifts. for Bry and the grandfathers.
Entering Michael's we found the aisle easily. An array of t-shirts stood in nice piles before her. White, grey, yellow, blue, red, green, and black sitting in their size specific spots. Of course, without delay she reached for two red shirts, her favorite color for some time. Placing them into the cart, I turned my attention to the variety of fonts available of iron-on letters.
Unfortunately my procrastination in purchasing the items led to a depleted supply. Instead of uniform color choices, I was forced to be creative.  In desperation, I was able to create a black & white pattern. Two P's, One O, One S, One I, and One E for Popsie, and Two D's, One B, One U, and One Y for Buddy. Luckily, the fabric paints had not been picked over. I decided on a variety pack of squeeze bottle paints and placed them into the cart.
I remember vividly taking the items to check out. I looked to Mo. Her smile gleamed as she eagerly offered, "I cannot wait to make these shirts for Popsie and Buddy! Them are going to LOVE them!"
I agreed. It would be the perfect gift for the two grandfathers, personalized t-shirts with hand prints of their two granddaughters.
Just perfect.
We returned home with our supplies and I went to work. Dusting off the iron, I easily attached the letters to the t-shirt. Waiting for the little hands to mark below.
Upon waking from their nap, we eagerly worked. First painting Mo's hand with black paint, then carefully placing it on the red shirt. Slowly removing the hand, her print perfect. We repeated the process again on the corresponding shirt, and then repeated the process with Maeve.
The shirts were completed with the addition of the girls' names under their respective hand prints.
The days passed, and Father's day was approaching. It was time to wrap the gifts. Giving the girls crayons and old paper made specifically for wrapping valuables during moving, they created personalized wrapping paper.
Their hand strokes evident as I wrapped the shirts for Popsie and Buddy.
Father's Day arrived.
At a small picnic at my brother's house, Mo eagerly offered her gift to my my father. It was just as I had imagined. Meticulously, he unwrapped the paper, mentioning to Mo the beauty of her art work. Finding the t-shirt, he held it up for all to see. She looked to him, jumping up and down with excitement. While sitting in the living room, he removed his standard Phillies shirt and replaced it. The new red Popsie shirt displayed for all to see.
He wore the shirt for the remainder of the picnic, making comments throughout the day about it to both Mo and Maeve.
We had initially planned to visit Buddy the following weekend. But as is customary in life, things come up and so the package sat on our table. The shirt hidden beneath it's paper covering.
As his health made a turn for the worse, a visit with the girls was out of the question.
We just assumed, like always, his health would improve and we would have the chance to have that visit.
But it never did.
I wish he had never gotten sick.
He missed out on so much.
He never really got a chance to know my kids. He never got a chance to run around the dining room table, or sit on the couch and read a book. He never was able to walk the perimeter of our property with Bry, examining the exterior of the house nor offer advice on old house maintenance.
He never got to unwrap that package.
And so that package remains.


  1. I am so sorry for your loss, and that Buddy never had the chance to really know his grandchildren.

    (visiting via PYHO)

  2. I have my grandmother's birthday card; her last birthday card, sitting in a cabinet for the same reason. Loss is so hard, especially when you think of what they've missed out on with your kids. I'm really sorry for your family's loss.

  3. I'm so sorry for you loss. I lost my grandfather this summer and it breaks my heart that my children will not remember him.

  4. How heartbreaking! I'm sorry for your loss.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. My grandfather died when my oldest was 6 months old. I understand (somewhat) your pain and loss.

    Visiting via PYHO

  6. My dad died 2 weeks after my husband and I got engaged. I cry at every birth and milestone about what he has missed. My grandfather died 36 hours before my youngest was born. There is a sadness because of both losses. Hugs to you as you sort your way through the grief.

  7. I am so sorry Jackie. Life is so cruel sometimes.


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