Chapter 4 - Maddie
It was a month later and we were coping ish. We weren’t over it by a longshot but we were coping. Today was my birthday. I was 21 today. Ethan and Avery had actually woke me this morning with the kids and breakifast in bed cutesy from the housekeeper Rosie. I had ate them snuggled up. I put the video on saying Maddie 21 and pictures of me and Addie and me alone growing up came on. Jess saying how proud of me she was a lot of information on safe drinking. Lessons on what wine and drinks she thought the best. I laughted at some points. The kids gave me homemade gifts. The boys had made up there own math equation for me. The kids had made such an effort. I just snuggled with Derek under my covers. Then I drove them all school. Then I went to a café and met up with Maria in her lunchbreak. I was in the café with Maria when I got the phonecall. Dad was gone. I knew something was going to happen. I looked at Maria as I repeated what the lady said not fully able to absorb it. I then left and assured her to go back class. I went to the hospital with the babys.
He had died during the night and they found him when they went in. it was a long day. I managed to get there at school pickup. When we were home I tried not to let on because I would talk Nathan about how to do it first. When he came in from work he didn’t know. I knew he didn’t because he had the biggest smile when he pulled me in a hug and said happy birthday I was finally an adult. “Nathan.” I said when he let me go. the kids were all tucked up because hed gone over at the office. “im sorry im late.” Nathan said. “Im not mad at you for missing dinner. Im not mad at you at all.” I assured him. “Dad passed away.” I said. He swore. He teared up himself. “I havent told the kids. I didn’t know how.” I said. “today?” he asked me. “Yeah.” I said. “on your birthday.” He said pulling me close. “its okay Nathan.” I said. “I spent all day yesterday with him. I knew it wasn’t long.” I said. Nathan pulled out the one that said. Maddie daddy died. He pressed play and we sat on the sofa. The baby on my lap with her bottle when she went off on the monitor and Nathan went and got her. I watched a video of dad. Him giving Jess away at the wedding. Dancing with me and Addie in the reception. Him and me sat playing chess. Pictures of him at the lake with me were the last ones. The song you can let go daddy. Played the whole way though and Jess talking assuring me I wasn’t alone and dad was okay now with her. it faded to a picture of Jessica in her wedding dress and me and Addie in matching bridesmaid dresses our hairs in matching two braids. “You were always so tiny.” Nathan said. “you calling me fat?” I teased weakly. “if you keep eating all my icecream.” He said looking at the ben and jerrys in my hand. “I told the kids this was a food group in itself.” I told him. he squeezed my hand. “ill tell the kids in the morning. Have the day off tomorrow ill stay home with the babys and take the kids school.” He said. “Can you sort his funeral?” I asked. “yeah baby I can.” He assured me. “Nathan.” I asked. “I know im not alone. But ive never felt so alone.” I said. he squeezed my hand. “me and you kiddo we got this.” He said. “me and you giant.” I said.
I was in bed curled up and I could hear Nathan in the hallway talking to a little one. “is auntie Maddie ill?” Derek asked panicked. “no sweetheart, but can you all come to the lounge.” Nathan said worried. It was early even for a school morning. I got up. Nathan didn’t have to give this conversation alone. “Is auntie Maddie quiting?” Avery asked. she hadn’t been being easy this week. “No Avery you would have to fire me from a canon to get rid of me.” I told her going in the room. “Pawpaw died yesterday.” Nathan said when they were all seated. Me included. They all looked like there life was shattering. “on auntie Maddies birthday?” Greg asked. “yes sweetheart but hes in a better place. Pawpaw wasn’t happy here.” I admitted. “he didn’t even rememeber here.” Avery said weakly. I nodded. Greg looked worried. “is he with mommy?” he asked me. I nodded. “yes sweetheart hes with mommy. Hes not in pain and hes better now.” I said. “hes looking after mommy.” I told them. They were sad but not as bad as we worried. Nathan was already paying for councillors for them all. So said about arranging one for them all me included.
My dad was buried a few weeks later same graveyard, next to Jess in front of the familys mausoleum. Scientists from all over the country came to give there respect. A small magazine I had never heard of came to do a small article on the man that had once been a respected scientist and mathematician. He was famous in certain circles. People said what an amazing man he was. People said how thankful they were to know him. When it was over I looked at Nathan. “I didn’t know half these people.” Nathan said. “me either.” I told him. “you okay?” he asked me worried. “its Addies turn with them.” I said. “She deserves a turn.” I told him. “Oh Kiddo.”
He said he squeezed my shoulder. “Me and you Giant?” I asked as a question. “Always kiddo.” He said. “its okay not to be.” I said. “its okay not to be.” Nathan assured me. “I think ive run out of tears.” I told Nathan. “Oh Maddie I think that’s impossible. You could fill an ocean and its okay to do that.” He assured me. “but its also okay not to cry.” He assured me. “your numb.” He said. he named my feeling exactly. I looked at him. “is that wrong?” I asked him. “im numb too. I think we all are.” He said indicating the kids that were all just sat there wellbehavied. “Come on lets get them home and watch what Jess had to say.” I said weakly.