Grandpa came to visit. It was painful- poisonous in fact. He's lost in his own stages of grief over the illness that has taken his only child, his only son. He stayed in a cottage at the nursing home. The visit made it clear to Jack and I that we have not only lost Bill. We lost part of our family. Grandpa was critical, angry with us. How could we do this? Bill doesn't have anything wrong with him. He doesn't belong here. Jack, you should visit your father no less than twice a week.... your mom is wrong, wrong, wrong...The guilt flowed freely on Sunday as my family gathered around with us for support as we celebrated Jack's 18th birthday at Bill's nursing home.
Of course Grandpa wasn't there when we went through crisis. When Bill would refuse to listen and take the car and be missing for hours as I waited for the police to knock on the door- which did happen... he wrecked, putting innocent people in the hospital. Grandpa wasn't there when Bill's disease decided Jack was the enemy, physically threatening, emotionally raping our baby boy. The very presence of Jack would turn Bill into a jealous raging maniac. I sent Jack to friends' homes for two solid months prior to moving home. Once back home in Kansas when Bill would become hostile towards Jack I could turn to family for support. Jack had no home for over a year.
Grandpa doesn't see the grief and the guilt we live with, the times Jack weeps and wants to die because he misses his daddy, the sadness, anger, grief I feel as my guts turn inside out... he's not there when I hold my huge baby boy and tell him it's not our fault, it's not his fault... we have to make it together. He's not there when Jack talks about the old times when daddy liked him...
I've thought about bringing him home. I have. It always comes back to this: What if he has another episode where he decides to end it all, to take us all out. Would I ever sleep again? Would I have to hover over Jack to protect him.
I made the right decision. I did. I hope you find peace, Grandpa. I hope you can forgive us. I wish you would stand by our side, to help us, to support us, to make us feel better when we are sad, scared...alone.