February 14th, 2013: The judgement day thing is in reference to the coming, next day. Test results would finally come back, and determine whether the tumor on dad's lung was malignant. I believe it was a foregone conclusion that it was. Maybe the tests would determine the type of cancer, etc. As I'm getting into recounting this, for this blog, it is obvious I will have some problems communicating some medical details. I just wasn't involved in those conversations.
Somewhere around dinner time, there was a knock at the front door. The house had three doors. Front, breezeway, and back. The front led into the living room. The breezeway to the kitchen. And the back to sort of a "mud room." Most casual friends used the breezeway door. A knock at the front door usually meant a stranger, or something more formal.
I was home from school. Mom was preparing dinner. Dad was home too. Either early from work, or the delivery person was running past their hours. I'm not sure who answered the door.
What I can clearly remember is confusion. This was atypical behavior of dad. He was not outwardly emotional, and had never done anything like this before. He wasn't a tough, macho type guy at all. But he didn't wear his feelings on his sleeve like I do. He didn't spend a lot of time hugging or kissing mom, and I don't remember hearing the words "I love you," with any frequency. To mom or me. He didn't have to. You could read it in his eyes. It's hard to describe. But there was genuine love. There was never a tense moment between mom and dad (that I saw) in their marriage. And I'm very perceptive, even as a kid. There wasn't even a "vibe" of problems. Because there were none.
|Mom & Dad. "Moonlight Madness," 1965|
It was almost surreal. Like a mistake had been made. The delivery man must have the wrong address. Then, dad gave her those roses, and mom asked that question... "Virg, what are these?"
Dad broke down. I'd seen what I thought was a tear in his eye a few days before. But this was the first time in my life I ever really saw him cry.
It was one of the most emotional moments of the whole, three month ordeal. Even without having kept a diary, I'd remember this scene for the rest of my life.
|Front of 73' Valentine, made by Aunt Betty|
|Inside of 73' Valentine, made by Aunt Betty|