Epilogue 24

He walked into the lounge, struggling under the burden of a large flatpacked item, a cupboard it turned out. Something was definitely up at Liesel's. First the little bump, now the frenetic decorating activity in their spare room. Definitely a baby on the way! I felt an odd mixture of emotions: great excitement and joy at the prospect of my first grand child, yet immense sadness that I would not be there to share in the miracle.

I watched them as they laboured away together, preparing the room for their imminent arrival, joking together and still very obviously in love. It reminded me of so long ago when Liesel was born. Such an exciting time it was, full of joint anticipation and wonder.

I still remember, as if it were yesterday, bringing home the little bundle all wrapped in white from the hospital, placing her carry chair in the middle of the lounge and sitting next to Fiona, together wondering how on earth we were going to care for this little being that had invaded our lives.

I looked at Liesel, now all grown up, resting a little while Tony carried on trying to figure out the obscure flat pack instructions. She was every bit her mother, except perhaps in temperament where she had a bad dose of her old father's sardonic seriousness.

She looked happy and yet my heart felt as if it wanted to break.