My grandmother died this morning. Also this morning, I found out I’m pregnant.
Yesterday my father learned that my grandmother was very sick, and within a couple hours, he was at the airport. They Skyped while he waited to board, and she didn’t recognize him, but that wasn’t unusual. Her memory has been hazy for a while now.
Her doctor originally predicted that she wouldn’t make it through the night, but when my dad video chatted with them at the hospital, they assured him that she’d hang on to exchange one last hug and kiss before she went. With that, he told his mother that they’d see each other soon.
It was their last conversation.
She and I weren’t close, but my father adored her, and despite their 10-hour time difference, they spoke twice a day. His phone’s alarm was set for 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., but he hardly needed the reminders because she was always on his mind. Every time they talked, she would exuberantly share whatever was in her heart, and she would always sing. She loved to sing, and my dad would chime in with her for a few bars until their melody devolved into laughter. Then my dad would ask her, “Do you know who I am?” And she would say, “No, but I’m so happy to be talking to you!”
Four of her children were there when she died while my dad was stuck on an 8-hour layover in Germany. I’m sure he cried when he heard the news because my father is a man brought easily to tears, and there’s no one he loved more than his mother.
My grief for this loss is heartbreak for his heartbreak. I think of him drying tears in a fluorescent-lit terminal surrounded by Hawaiian shirts and ski boots, and I shed my own. I hate that he was alone in that moment, and I hate that he’s alone still now on yet another leg of an eternal flight punctuated by peanuts and turbulence.
When I was 20, my dad told me that I should get busy finding a husband because the only reason he had children was so that he could have grandchildren. I think of that now, and it makes me wish I could tell him about this pregnancy so that I might alleviate some of his pain from this death with the promise of life.
The problem with wanting to give him good news is that I have no definitive news to give. Realistically I have to wait until my official test on Wednesday. Or more likely the second test on Friday. Or most practically another 2 weeks after that when they confirm the pregnancy with a sonogram. Or if I’m truly cautious, then maybe not until I reach 12 weeks.
But what am I saying? This pregnancy can’t possibly sustain itself. I’ve been here twice before, and I know better than to plan showers and calculate dates. And to be honest, I’m finally at a place in my life where I don’t need to have a successful pregnancy. I’ve already wrapped my head around it never happening. I’m prepared to start the adoption process. My career search has been incredibly exciting, and I have a job interview on Tuesday. I just bought a bunch of new clothes. I’d be fine if this pregnancy doesn’t stick. I don’t need it.
But God, oh, God, how I want it for him.