Ramble about an Unusual Week

Today I’m going to write (ramble) a bit about the last week that has passed. And by passed, I mean to say that I’ve pretty much missed it as it flew by… I’m sure I’ll miss some [most] of the particulars, but I am hopeful that I’ll be able to explain my not being around much.

On Saturday, while my family and I were out to lunch, we received a call from my father’s wife (long story).  Well, he’s been sick with cancer for some time now, but this particular day marked a week where he hadn’t so much as gotten out of bed or eaten, so my presence was requested and I obliged by driving up there that day.

I wasn’t optimistic heading up there, but after arriving I was able to see positive signs in the way he talked. He had very little energy and was altogether unwell, but he was clear minded and it showed in the way he spoke. I spent the night there and the entirety of the following day, helping my sisters with some things and spending time with Dad (as much as he seemed able to bear) in an attempt to gauge his condition.

The cancer he fights is known as the most aggressive form of skin cancer, so this is the sort of situation where his cause of death is pretty much chiseled in stone, it is just a matter of when…

So, late Sunday night I made the decision to drive home, figuring there was not much more I could do there. My wife and children were at home and Dad’s care was in good hands with his wife and my sisters.

Usually the drive home is a 2 – 2 1/2 hour affair, but this particular night was different. I didn’t make it far before the problems started… my van’s transmission wasn’t shifting properly, and eventually stopped shifting at all. I drove it in 2nd gear at about 40 MPH for over three hours, eventually making it home and collapsing in bed.

So this week has been challenging in the way that I have been waiting for news about Dad and trying to think of ways to deal with the cost of fixing the van. Adding to the financial concern is the state of our federal tax return, which we have learned the IRS never received! Chaos!

Of course, without fixing the van, I’m not entirely sure I have a reliable means by which to drive back up there to visit them again. Sure, our 1987 station wagon is working for getting me to and from work, but I can’t be entirely certain that it wouldn’t fail if put through the 200 miles of driving, and at best, it would cost nearly $100 in gas so I have to be cautious not to “break the bank” so to speak.

Moving on, I did receive a message from my sisters today indicating that Dad is doing well after having gone back to the hospital this week and now returned home. The doctors have reduced the dosage for his medication, meaning it shouldn’t wipe him out the same way as last time. I suppose we’ll see… in any event I’m really hopeful that he’ll be OK for a while.

Maybe I’ll find a way to fix the transportation issue here at home in the meantime… or maybe we’ll just decide that the van is a 5,500 pound paperweight. I find it hard to care sometimes because it is all so much stress and I’ve learned none of it really brings any happiness.

I think I’ll stop rambling for the moment, except to say that the last week has brought a lot of thoughts to my mind. I’ve felt sadness and can see how sadness (or happiness) is a product of the mind, not the outside “forces” we perceive to exist. Maybe I’ll find a way of dealing better with that in the future.

I hope you are well today and at peace, friends.



  1. Prayers for your father-in-law…

    1. Many thanks, friend.

  2. Dennis Beyer · · Reply

    Your dad and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    I sympathize with the car problems, Lord knows the things aren’t cheap to fix. I know a couple good and affordable mechanics should you find yourself with the money to get it worked on.

    1. Thank you Denny. And I’ll get back with you on the mechanic thing when we get closer to that time.

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