by Danielle Charles

Last night my Mom called me. You need to come home. It was the call I had been dreading, the call I had been hoping would never come. It meant that he was worse, my Dad. It meant that things weren’t good.

So tonight I have been packing. I picked out the books I thought I might read to him, things to make him laugh (Bill Bryson I hope will do the trick), things to comfort him and soothe him. I packed the lavender oil I will massage into the soles of his feet, and I packed away the medicinal mushroom blend I will make him a soup stock with. I don’t know if any of it will help. I don’t know what to think, what to expect, I don’t even know what to say when I see him. All I know is I must be there.

Lastly, I made food for my journey. I cooked a frittata with last night’s leftovers and wrapped it in foil, I baked a batch of these to snack on in the airport, and I cut up some fresh fruit. It’s strange, but for a moment, the simple act of preparing food – chopping onions, heating up oil in a pan, measuring out ingredients, sifting, stirring – it made things feel OK. It made everything feel normal, as if this were just a typical Wednesday night. As if I had never heard of lymphoma. As if everything were fine.

Now everything is wrapped up, packed, ready to go in the morning. I’m trying not to think too hard about tomorrow, not to notice the suitcase in the front hall. For the moment it is nice to be in my quiet house, where everything feels the same as it always has. Tomorrow everything will be upside down.

I won’t be writing as often in the coming weeks, but I will write. I need to write. It will keep me sane and it will give me one of these moments of normalcy that I think will become extremely precious.

Please keep my Dad in your thoughts and prayers.