Splinter slowly blinked his eyes open, feeling groggy, a light headache pulse in the back of his head. It was another day that he had suffered from a small cold. It wasn't a huge deal, just some sniffles and coughs. But the medication his daughter-in-law, April, gave to him tended to make him very drowsy.
Somewhere in the lair, he could hear the sound of someone walking around and soft murmurs from the kitchen. It wasn't unusual for his children, their wives and his grandchildren to visit. He didn't feel any threatening force, so he continued to leave his eyes closed.
It was funny. Ever since his children had moved out of the lair, things were so...quiet. He had all the freedom he wanted to watch his favorite soaps, meditate in peace, and wander the sewers in a way he couldn't before in fear of his children misbehaving.
The first to leave was his second to youngest son, Donatello. He and his wife, April, had had a daughter and they had moved out years ago to find a more suitable place to live with their child. They had moved into an old farmhouse that was passed down in April's family in the outskirts of the city.
The next to go had been Leo. Karai had changed sides and came to Leo after the fall of her father. She had been a tough nut to crack, but Leo had eventually won her over and they had fallen deeply in love. Nearly four years after Donatello and April had had Magdalene, Leo and Karai welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world, Miwa. They stayed with Splinter until Karai had bought an apartment for the family with the money she had inherited from Shredder. She had opened her own dojo and Leo continued to patrol the nights.
Next was Michelangelo and Raphael. Eventually, they had grown tired of staying in the lair and ventured off to live on their own in separate abandoned subway stations. In the end, Splinter was by himself in a home that had once been so busy. His granddaughters often came down to train with him and he didn't mind venturing to the farmhouse via the tunnel Donatello had made for him, Raphael and Michelangeo. It wasn't his favorite thing to do, but it was nice to see the outside world now and then.
The sounds stopped and Splinter sighed, waiting for either one or both of his granddaughters to pounce on him to wake him up. Nothing came. He expected one of his sons or daughter-in-laws to wake him up. Nothing.
The rat furrowed his eyebrows and sat up, feeling weak. He poked his head into the dojo only to find it empty. This was unusual of his family. Usually someone came to announce they were there.
The older man stood up, feeling his bones creak with age. Splinter walked through the dojo and let his tired body lead the way to the living room. He expected to see his family watching something on T.V, but no one was there.
The rat frowned and smelt something from the kitchen that tickled his nose. He headed in that direction. He entered the kitchen and stopped in his tracks, his eyes widening.
There, on the counter, was a basket of fine foods, a bottle of sake, and cards. The man gasped and hesitantly stepped closer. Splinter opened the main one with shake hands, tears already built up in his eyes. He inhaled and read:
We didn't want you to be alone this Father's Day, but because we know you've been ill, we wanted you to rest instead. We can celebrate later. You are still in our hearts and on our minds every day. We miss you greatly but we're so proud to call you our "dad." Without you, we wouldn't be the strong, intelligent and responsible ninjas, parents, and brothers we are today. Thank you for everything, dad, you rock.
With much love,
Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo, April, Karai, and the girls"
Splinter stuck his arm out and leaned against the counter, tears streaming over his eyes. He eyed the basket and found one more card. He opened it.
Thank you for being the best grandpa EVER. You make us strong and do cool moves so we can become as great of ninjas as our parents, uncles, and most importantly, you. We love you!
P.S: I drew the card, Miwa coloured it.
Maggie and Miwa, your favorite grandkids!"
Splinter eyed the picture and he couldn't help but chuckle. It was of him and his two granddaughters. Miwa, the youngest, sat on his shoulders and he held Maggie in his arms. It was the beautiful work a six and three year old could pull off. Not the best, but to him, it was the Mona Lisa.
The old rat walked over to the fridge and found some magnets to hold in place his new paper gifts. When he was done, he stepped back and proudly beamed at the refrigerator.
All over the white surface, cards and drawings and pictures littered every inch of the fridge given to him by his family over the years. Some of his sons all together, some of his sons and their wives, and others of his granddaughters.
Tears rolled down his cheek and he didn't bother to rub them away. These tears boasted his pride and joy for the family he had. It had been a shame he had lost his wife and daughter so long ago, but he was so blessed to have had this life he had with his boys. They had grown up so fast before his eyes, and now he had the pleasure of watching his grandchildren grow before him as well. It was those pleasant surprises that made life more bearable, and the future brighter for the old rat. He couldn't be happier.