Sunday, January 06, 2008

You Called?


Saturday evening. The red light on the answering machine blinks. There is a new email in my inbox, alerting me to the new voice mail on my line. I am interested to know who called until I see the number. Dad's phone number, a long message, over a minute. I turn away.

We go about the business of putting the kids to bed, nagging about teeth brushing, 'are you sure you'll be warm enough in those jammies? It's supposed to snow tonight', short or long bedtime stories. They are finally settled in, we meet in the hallway tentatively, waiting to see whether anyone will holler for one last drink or hug before we descend the creaking stairs. We are finally settled on the couch and the blinking light reaches across the room toward me, reminding, but I brush it away.

My dreams are filled with frantic pursuits of old friends, decades old friends whom I've not seen or spoken to since high school. I've arranged meetings with them to clear up old misunderstandings. I am late - the car breaks down, my kids need something right now, I have to explain to my family why this is important. I can't get comfortable beneath the down comforter and my specially purchased pillow won't support my busy head tonight. I start awake at 7:30 - wondrous that the girls have slept in, and jostle Bubba - he's got a plane to catch. He smiles quickly and springs out of bed to get ready to go. I am disturbed by my dreams and just want to pull the covers over my head, but I know the shower will wake the girls and start my day, too.

Hours later, the three of us meander down the stairs to greet the animals and find some breakfast. Daddy's long gone - probably already on the airplane by now. As the girls settle in with their hot chocolate and SpongeBob SquarePants on the TV, I find the courage to check the voice mail. I wish I hadn't.

The specialists say there is nothing they can do. They decided, for some reason, to look for more. Dad submitted himself to a colonoscopy which didn't show anything. The next day he feels some pain in his hips and goes back to see why. Three hours later the films show it has spread to his bones. This strong, healthy, vital man who has bounced back from chemotherapy, major surgery, tours in VietNam, divorce, heartbreak. Nothing can be done.

His voice comes through - something about "...the Gerson Institute in San Diego...", raw food diets and special enemas - good survival rate with certain cancers. Maybe it's worth a shot. I wait. I sigh. I wish Bubba were here. I wish I could call my father and listen to his ideas with some enthusiasm. I wish I could call my father and tell him I'm sorry I missed his call last night. I wish I could call my father.

6 comments:

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Love, love and more love to you now, Kari. This is such a hard place to be in, for him, for you, for you two together. I am with you as you struggle through the seemingly impossible future.

Anonymous said...

Kari, I can't tell you how grateful I am that you have this blog. Thank you for baring your soul and sharing your feelings. Your brother isn't able to do so, I'm left in the dark so much of the time. I'm sorry to hear the latest about your dad, but I'm glad that you were able to say something, because your brother hasn't been able to. Now I know why he was so angry yesterday. Now I know why he clung so tightly and wanted me so close.

I will keep thinking positive thoughts for you, your dad, and of course, your brother, the love of my life.

Jen

Eileen said...

Kari,
I am so sorry. This is so very sad and so difficult for you, your dad and your family. I am praying for you and your father. I wish I could do more. Just know you are in my thoughts and I am sending lots of love and support. If you need anything, let me know.
Love.
XOXOX

Suzy said...

You are always in my thoughts and prayers...

Love you
Suzy

Deb said...

I'm so so sorry, Kari. Holding you in my heart and prayers. Sending you love and more love.

Jerri said...

Oh, Kari. I'm so sorry. Sorry to hear this news. Sorry I haven't been here lately. Sorry for your pain.

I'm adding my love to the others'. You and your dad are in my prayers.

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