It was July 14, 2011. Or maybe it was July 15. I remember it was close to my brothers birthday and I was preoccupied thinking about what I was going to buy him when I stopped at the gas station to fill up on the way to the oncologist. I should have been more concerned about yet another round of chemo meds that didn’t seem to affect the tumor filling the space where my dad’s liver once was.
Regardless of what I was thinking about, what I wasn’t thinking about was the location of my keys when I hit the door lock and climbed out of my Acura. Cup holder. Literally a God sent AAA tow truck is in the next pump and I flip my hair and plead with the driver to pop open my door while my tank fills. He agrees, and silently collects his tools while I chatter about how late I am running, and silently wonder why he isn’t flirting with me. Before I can thank him he is back in his truck. relieved I get in the car. Call dad and explain my delay, and how lucky I was to find a AAA truck driver, literally for the second time in two weeks after locking my keys in my car. Kaiser is running late as usual and he tells me he will meet me in the waiting room. We are both nervous, about what the doctor has to say and the conversation keeps circling back to the awkward silence that surrounded the mutual unspoken fear. Finally, he chuckles and says something to the extent of “its never as bad as we think it is- lets just get it over with.”
The Doctor walks into the rooms and stutters my name. My heart sank.
Walking out of the room, I am crying so hard the nurse gives my a hug and a handful of tissues. I wipe my face and ball them up and leave lint all over myself. Were silent walking to the parking lot and when we get there he leans forward to hug me too. I leave lint all over the back of his Navy work shirt and think about how much longer he will be working. And how all of the sudden the number of dad hugs I have left are finite. I wipe my eyes again, and his twinkle, “Can I ever be right about anything?”
We called out of work and went to the fair. I ate a fried Klondike bar and we drank a few beers.
I never want to forget one second of that day. It was the worst day of my life.