Tuesday, March 12, 2013

March 12th

March 12th, 1973: We are flying to Tacoma to see Lynn on Wednesday. and mom is scared to death that dad will get sick out there. But, Dr. Bunting said, "O.K." Dad also says he feels fine. Mom said we were coming back on Monday, and dad was thinking more on Wednesday. So, dad said, "O.K, Dorothy. I don't care anymore."

We saw a movie today in school, and 19-20 people die of cancer. Mom is also scared of flying. But hell, we'll make it.

March 12th, 2013: I'd taken a week off from making entries in my original diary. Either from laziness. Or from not wanting to put pen to paper, and acknowledge how things were going, and where they were headed. It honestly could have been laziness. The last entry was March 5th.

Now, after a week off from this blog, and revisiting the original diary, I can clearly see what a difference a week makes. And not for the better.

It's weird. Things had apparently digressed to the point that a trip to the northwest was scheduled.  Sort of a turning point. Maybe a sign of resignation at the time. And it screams the same, now, 40 years later.

It basically boiled down for time for dad to say good-bye to his daughter. Dad was sick. No one knew how long he'd live. But he was deteriorating quickly. I understand this now, better than I did then.

It's kind of funny, in a not funny way. Mom was scared dad would get "sick" out there. Obviously, she meant his condition could worsen, and we'd be far from home. If you know me, and my warped sense of humor, I'd ask now, what would be the worst that could happen? He was dying anyway!

And heck. By this time he was taking better care of himself too. I think he'd stopped smoking during this stage. (More dark humor intended).

Mom was afraid of flying, yes. But I just don't believe she wanted to travel to Tacoma in the first place. I have mentioned tension, on mom's part, towards Lynn. There was really no reason for it. It was minor and unnecessary. But it was there. Mom was really about to be tossed from her comfort zone of home.

The 12th was a Monday. We'd fly out on Wednesday the 14th from St. Louis. I was looking forward to  the trip. Excited by it. For me, it meant a week off from school and a ride on an airplane. Aunt Betty and I had been out there in the summer of 1969. I liked the northwest. The smell of the pines and firs, and the view of Mt. Rainier from Lynn's house.

Judging by my original notes, there must have been a film during health class, or some other class, about cancer. I failed to note the time frame in which those 19-20 people die. Minutes, hours, a day? Whatever the time frame, I'd bet I watched that film with the thought of,  that stuff happened to other people. Not my dad.

The exchange between my parents was one of only two times in my life that I witnessed actual tension between mom and dad. When dad responded to mom about the length of our stay out there, it was with real... well, not anger. But he was not happy mom was making a fuss.

The only other incident I can remember, when I saw dad sort of snap at mom like that, had me in the middle of the situation. I was wanting a new, upgraded, mini-bike. Mom was sort of taking my side. Dad wasn't convinced I needed one. It was the one and only time I ever heard my dad use the "f-bomb." Not aimed at mom, mind you. But the mini bike. "All right, Dorothy. Let him get the......"

So. At some point during this recent, "missing week," Things had gotten to the point where plans were made for the visit. As I recall, it was sprung on me. I wasn't involved in the discussions that led to it. I would imagine that my parents were concerned about missing that much school. But, not taking me was out of the question for the most part. I'd stayed with aunts and friends before, when mom and dad went to hardware shows. This was entirely different. Mom and dad must have discussed it with Lynn and Roger. Apparently, it made more sense for us to go to them. Not them to us. At least this time.

For this trip, the store would be left to Peachy and Pat. Arrangements were made for me to keep up with my homework. And someone helped out by feeding the two dogs and two cats while we'd be gone.

Aunt Betty would drive us to St. Louis, and pick us up when we returned.

It would be impossible for me to make diary entries in Tacoma. Or nearly impossible, without drawing attention to myself. This made for another gap in my original diary entries. But, even without the benefit of original notes, there are enough memories to write about from the trip. I just don't know the exact dates they would have occurred on.

My original diary picks back up on March 20th, when we returned home. We were gone a week. From the 14th to the 20th. Mom lost, dad won, on the decision to stay a week. Dad usually won.

This blog will be sporadic until the 20th. There will a few posts as I recall a few memories from that trip.

I'll skip tomorrow and come back Thursday. The day we flew out.

Dad and Aunt Betty in a very early photo of the two. I'd sure like to have that tin crafted race car!

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