Some of you may have noticed that I didn't do a Thursday Thirteen this week. Some of you already know the reason.
I had been told Wednesday morning that the family were being called in after 9:00 a.m., as the prognosis wasn't good. I spent the day in a fug, yet I managed to finish a chapter, make phone calls, and drag myself out for a dinner which I wound up enjoying quite a lot. (Thanks, Laura.) When I got home, I called back to the States and asked how Dad was doing.
"He's fine. Resting well, sleeping."
I tried to do the same. I finally got in bed around 1:30 a.m. or so, cried, and wondered when "the call" would finally come. I dreamed about my dad, and I dreamed a little about a student I had who passed away suddenly last year.
A strange combo, to say the least, but Luca was the closest I'd come to losing an actual friend. I like to think he was, in a way.
This morning, at around 9:45 a.m. (GMT+1), I sat at my desk trying to distract myself from waiting for "the call." I surfed the 'net. I posted on Romance Divas. I posted on various Thursday Thirteens, trying to think of a topic.
Suddenly, my cat had a strange fit. She flung herself at my closed office door - or more accurately, at the glass panel of it - three times. Three solid hits, hard enough to shake it and scare the heck out of me.
I thought: "Either we're about to have another earthquake, or Dad just left us."
I calmed my heart down, went back to reading and writing and all the rest.
My cell phone rang at 10:18. My mother's number, in Tennessee. It took a moment to register, and once it sank in, I answered (almost). My stepfather was on the other end.
After a few consoling remarks, he said, "We just wanted to let you know as soon as possible."
"What time did he go?" I asked, already knowing the answer.
"3:43 this morning."
This evening, I went out with my husband to run some errands. Nothing vital, but I needed to get out of the house for a few minutes. I was in the car while he was doing something, and I felt a presence next to me, sitting in the driver's seat.
Thanks for coming by Dad. You made it to Italy after all.