Today, as I’d known in my gut for some time now, I had it confirmed that Ianto’s time with me on Earth is coming to a close. Where I’d hoped for months will be only a few weeks, and as such, I elect now to write a letter to my boy:
My Dearest Ianto Zachary,
I did not know 10 ½ years ago when you and your 3 sisters were first brought into MAH how you would become one of the best parts of my life. I did not know how much I would grow to adore you and your hugs, you and your talking, you and your monkey tail. I did not know how I’d become frantic the two times you got out of the house, only for you to call me from under the porch because you didn’t know what to do without Mommy there to protect you.
I used to joke that if you could speak you’d introduce yourself as Ianto Knock It Off, but man have I loved your persistence and personality. (Though I wish you’d been less of a mouser or at least consistently ate ALL of the mouse after you gave it a teeny tiny heart-attack.) Though you never had the relationship with your sister that I had hoped you would, I treasure the few pictures I have of the two of you cuddled together because, like true siblings, you could boss her around and just you-no one else is allowed to bother her. And while I’d hoped you and Hannah might be friends, I have loved your spunk for putting a dog 5 times your size in her place.
“The only man in my life is Ianto,” is something I’ve said often and honestly, it’s been true. You’re my perfect boy when I ignore your peeing in places you shouldn’t, and even then, you’re still perfect. From the day I snuck you home, a little white and gray puffball with feet you had to grow into, you’ve been perfect. (Ok, I could have lived without you beating up your sister.) In the days after we lost Christopher, you were there with your cuddles and purring, kneading my side as we laid in bed. Every tough time since, you’ve been there; every night, your whole life I have slept knowing that your sister will be on one side and you on the other, warmth against my back or my stomach or trying to curl up literally against my face as if trying to suffocate me with love.
I am not sure how I will handle the days when you decide you are ready to move on. I already don’t know how I will handle it when I have to begin washing the linens in the places you have loved to sleep, how I will handle it when I realize that your hair no longer is on my clothes (or in my eyes, see above about love suffocating.) I don’t know how I will handle it when you’re no longer here to demand things from me, meerkating when I don’t get your food fast enough, when I’m not whining at you to stop peeing on my stuff.
My buddy, I thought we had more time, even if it was shortened by the cancer in your pelvis, I had hoped we had months. I wanted you to see your eleventh birthday, then I just wanted to make it until we got your DNA results back, now I just want one more birthday of my own with you. But if you are done and you’re ready, then all I want is one more I Love You.
I’ll never be able to tell you how much I have loved you, Ianto. There are no words to convey that. You will never be forgotten and I will carry you with me until the end of my days.
Until we meet again,