There are many times a child longs for their mother, more than the daily routine of need. And I felt it significantly these last few weeks, especially during the days of my extreme fatigue, being home alone and scared and wishing to be mothered. I just wanted her soft breath against my neck as she sat next to me, brushing the hair from my forehead and whispering me secrets of love and reassurance. But those requests from my mother could not be answered.

Instead, they were answered by my father. Not as my mother would have, but in ways that he knows how to father. And although different, it gave me the same calming and comforting I longed to have from my mother’s touch.

I am forever grateful and blessed for my dad’s support and presence through this all. Since the very beginning of my illness, I am sure I have seen him every day. It started with him bringing me pots of homemade chicken noodle soup and Tim Horton’s and groceries while I stayed in bed to rest. Then he began picking Arrine up from daycare and either taking her for supper first or bringing her home and helping with bedtime. Then it progressed to him taking me to emergency each time and also cutting my grass and taking in my mail and taking out my garbage.

He is my advocate. He is my butler. He is everything I need right now. But at the same time, I take all other offers of help from friends and family, as even my butler needs some time off too… And even though I know he would have done it, having my girlfriend bring me all new undies, was probably something he was ok of being relieved of.

Since being in the hospital, he has come every day. He calls and asks if I need anything, and many days, stops at my house for another item I need, or brings me lunch. Every. Day.

Our relationship has shifted over the years. Definitely the bond of loss we created while caring for my mom those few months has strengthened us. We still interrupt each other and tease and take moments to bite our tongue with responses, but the love between us is something I would not change.

I have started calling him “Pops”. I don’t know when that started, or how – I am wondering if Anth calls him Pops. Either way, I like it.

I love you Pops. And how do I know for sure? You tell the same Roughrider updates to me multiple times, and because I want to be with you, I just sit and listen.

Love Kir