I don't know when this particular journey began. My mind has been cloudy for a while. My dad had some shoulder surgery, and after that, things went downhill at record speed.
Before his procedure, he had some random stomach aches. My mom chalked it up to a shellfish allergy. She always thought she was a doctor, by association, I think. (More on that later.) But after his surgery, the stomach pains grew worse. Changes in antibiotics, an endoscopy, and scans followed, and then came the phone call-- the one no one suspects they're going to receive, and the one no one wants-- ever.
Let me go back a little... While this was going on at home, in Florida, my husband and I were on a business trip in Puerto Vallarte.
Yeah, tough life, I know. But, the trip got complicated when my mom, who was watching my children in South Florida, had to leave to be with my dad, in Daytona Beach. Thanks to amazing friends and a fabulous aunt, the kids were in good hands.
My mind was uneasy, thinking about what was happening at home. Little did I know, I was about to get that phone call-- the aforementioned one, the one that would change the lives of my whole family forever. My phone rang, and my mom's voice was trembling. "They found tumors in Dad's pancreas-- they're pretty sure it's cancer." She said my father was devastated. He couldn't speak to me. When my mom asked, I told her I was okay, and then ended the call and lost it.
Thank God my husband had just come out of a meeting and was there to catch me when I fell. And boy did I fall. What the f%ck; this can't be happening to me, to my perfect family. (More on that later too.)
The hours that followed were spent on the phone with the airline, talking it over again and again with Brian, and packing up to leave on a flight the next morning. I had to get home.
So, why am I telling you all this? And what does my dad's illness have to do with mah jongg? Or wipes for that matter? Well, if you're that interested in my story, you'll just have to keep reading...