Patrick was out of the hospital. He had bought a house nearby so they could raise the kids together.
“Andrew Anthony Maynard, this is the last time I am going to say it. Get your shoes on and get in the car.”
Andy knew that when his dad used his full name, he meant business. He was already grounded for not listening the day before.
He put his shoes on and hurried to the car. He didn’t want to be grounded again.
Owen drove them to the hospital. He was hoping that seeing his grandson would spark some memories for his dad.
Owen could see the toll this was taking on his mother. Her husband didn’t remember her or any of their time together. He pulled away from her touches.
Andy walked into the room with his dad. He saw his grandparents both sitting on the bed talking. He hugged his grandma then looked at his grandpa. “May I give you a hug too, Grandpa?”
Zaiden looked at the young boy. His wife had been trying to prepare him for this visit. He nodded and saw the boy smile as he hugged him. He really wished he could remember these people. He hated seeing the worry, hope, and pain in their eyes.
He saw the hope in their eyes as he hugged the boy. It hurt to see the change when he shook his head.
He looked at the boy and smiled. “You give really good hugs. I hope you will give me more of them.”
Andy smiled and nodded. “I tried to be easy. Daddy said you may hurt too much for a big hug.”
Zaiden smiled at him. “The hug was perfect. Not too tight.”
Owen watched the two together. Even though his father could not remember him, they still seemed to have that bond that had been there since Andy was born. He was happy to see that.
“They are sending him home tomorrow.”
Owen looked at his mother surprised. “Is he ready? He still has the broken ribs and is recovering from the surgery. He had a bullet in his brain.”
“The doctor says that everything he is doing here, he can do at home.”
“What about his therapy? He just learned how to walk again. Is he going to be able to go up and down all those stairs?”
“Your uncle has people at the house today installing an elevator. We are hiring a nurse to come to the house every day and help with him.”
Owen didn’t like this. He felt it was too soon for his father to be released. “If there is anything I can do to help, let me know.”
“Keep bringing that boy to see his grandfather. The other kids also.”
Owen watched his son and his father. Andy was telling his grandfather a story about a pirate who ate too many coconuts and got a belly ache. Hearing the two of them laugh together made him smile.
“The only time I have seen your father smile has been when the kids have been here. He may not remember them, but he enjoys having them around.”
“I will make sure he get visits from the other three also.”
“How is Patrick doing?”
“He has his good days and his bad.” It was more bad than good, but getting better. “The worst was when he had to call his father and tell him.”
That had been a rough day. It was the first time that Owen and Kyle had heard the whole story of what had happened. Dakota and Derick had the kids and decided to keep them that night so the three of them could handle what Patrick was needing without having to worry about the kids also.
“Kyle is okay with you and Patrick spending so much time together?”
Owen nodded. “Kyle is usually with us. The two of them have become friends.”
“Raelyn was glad to hear that. She had been worried that something would happen to destroy the happiness she had been seeing in her son. “Are you able to just be friends with Patrick?”
“Yeah. He knows that I am planning a future with Kyle.”
That made Raelyn excited to hear. “You are?”
“I am. His birthday is in a few months. I think I am going to ask him then.”
“Oh, Honey!” She hugged her son. “I am so happy for you!”
“You can’t tell anybody, Mom. I want it to be a surprise.”
“Not a word. I promise.”
“Daddy, I really need to pee super duper bad.”
“I’ll take him. You stay and talk to your father.”
Owen moved to the chair by the bed that Andy had been sitting in.
“How are you feeling today, Dad?”
“I’m feeling okay. Still have a headache and my ribs still hurt a little.”
“Do you feel ready to go home tomorrow?”
“Hell yeah. I’m tired of this place. I’m ready to get out of here and start making new memories to replace the ones I forgot.” He leaned toward his son a little. “I’m really looking forward to finding out if your mother is as wild in the bedroom as she looks like she might be.”
“Dad!” That was the last thing he had expected to hear from his father, especially since he barely let his mother touch him.
“You’re a grown man with kids. Don’t even try to tell me that you are a virgin.”
Owen shook his head. “I am not a virgin, but I have never been with a woman.” This was awkward. He hadn’t had to come out to his parents before. It was done for him when his mother walked in on him and Patrick having sex. His father didn’t remember that though. “My kids were born by surrogate.”
“I think your mother told me something about that. The other father is your ex-husband. His name is…” He took a minute to try to remember what he had been told. “…Patrick? Right?” He was glad when he got a nod in return.
“You have a new boyfriend now. His name is Kyle.”
“He’s my boyfriend, yes. We have been together for two years now.”
“He makes you happy?”
Owen nodded his head. “He makes me very happy.”
“That is what is important. If someone makes you happy then nothing else matters.” Zaiden frowned a little. “I can’t remember if your mother and I are happy together.”
“You don’t need to worry about that, Dad. You and Mom have the relationship I dream of having.”
“That makes me feel a lot better. I was hoping she wasn’t one of those women who are nice when others are around and mean in private.”
Owen shook his head. “You and Mom are amazing together. You split up for about a year and you both were miserable. The two of you belong together. She’s been in love with you since you were both kids.”
Zaiden smiled hearing that. “I do love your mother. I have seen that she is a very caring woman. I just wish this wasn’t so hard for her.