LIBRA HOROSCOPE (from astrology.com): You need to show your family just how much you care — it’s easy! Your good social energy helps you express your innermost emotions with delicate ease, so get in there and start doing some communicating.
Neither Mom nor Dad was home when I stopped by last night. I headed home to find no messages on my voicemail. No call from Ken. It surprised me that I was disappointed.
Got up this morning and headed to my parents’, Tupper in tow. Dad likes dogs and I thought Tupps could bring a little cheer. I found Dad in his usual spot in the garage. He was tinkering with an old clock that I remembered being in the family room when I was a kid.
“Gosh, where did you find that?!” I asked. “And why are you fiddling with it? Just chuck it.”
Dad answered gruffly, “Just ’cuz something’s old doesn’t mean you dump it.” And just like that, we weren’t talking about the clock anymore.
“Are you okay, Dad?”
“No.” I waited for more, but that was it. Tupper wiggled his tail and nudged up against his leg, but Dad ignored the dog. Confirmation that everything was not all right. I suggested a walk with the dog or our regular trek to Café Calabria.
“Pass. I’ve got a clock to fix.”
“That’s it, Dad. We’re going for coffee. I’m just going to hand Tupper over to Mom.”
When I returned, no Dad. It felt like a little kid running away. His car was still in the driveway so I took to the street. As I turned down Commercial, I spotted him ducking into the produce store. Tagged him at the cheese counter. We had an audience, not something either of us likes, but I had to speak my mind before he whacked me in the knee with a can of Roma tomatoes and tried to make another mad dash. “You’re upset. I get it. Hell, I’d be pissed.”
“Watch your language. I don’t like hearing you talk like that.”
“Dad, you’ve lost your job. Right now, I can tell you feel you’ve lost more than that.”
“My honor. My dignity. After all those years…”
I put a hand on each of his shoulders and looked right into his eyes. “So find a silver lining. You’re always working even when you’re not on the clock. Slow down.”
He back up, letting my arms fall to my sides. “You slow down, you die. Albert Festeriga died three weeks after he retired. Joe Baderkowski was let go and died only a week later.”
“So do something new. Hang out with your grandkids. Play Bocce. Stain the back deck.”
And, with a crowd watching, Dad started shaking. He teared up. Then he leaned into me and all I could do was hold him. I started crying, too. Dad gave everything to his work and now they’d sent him out on their timeline with Dad feeling utterly worthless and lacking a sense of direction.
Still holding him, I managed to shuffle us closer to the less crowded freezer section. Once recovered, we headed for coffee. He didn’t want to talk about his predicament so we talked Canucks. And, for some reason, I mentioned my date with Ken.
“Don’t tell Mom,” I cautioned.
“Of course not! I wouldn’t do that to you.” A jest at Mom’s expense only brought us closer.
ROUNDED UP ETHAN, BELLA AND RUDY TO TAKE THEM TO CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE THIS MORNING. SARA AND JERRY NEEDED SOME TIME W/TRAVIS. THEY’RE TRYING A FAMILY COUNSELOR.
“I’VE BEEN TO THAT STUPID BRIDGE LIKE 57 TIMES,” RUDY GRIPED. NEITHER BELLA NOR ETHAN HOPPED ON THE BAD MOOD TRAIN.
“WELL, WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO WHEN WE’RE DONE?”
“HOME. HOW COME TRAVIS RULES EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO ME?” I GLANCED IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR. JUST THE MENTION OF TRAVIS’ NAME MADE THE OTHER TWO TENSE.
BELLA GOT TEARY. “I HAVE TOO MANY BROTHERS. HOW COME I’M THE ONLY GIRL? IT’S NOT FAIR. IF TRAVIS GOT SENT TO JAIL, IT WOULD A BIT FAIRER.”
DID SARA KNOW THIS? DID TRAVIS? THE KIDS RESENTED HIM. HATED HIM…AND NOT IN THE NORMAL SIBLING RIVALRY WAY. HOW MUCH COULD ONE COUNSELOR DO? AND HOW FAST?
AFTER THE BRIDGE, WE DIDN’T GO STRAIGHT HOME. WE HAD LUNCH AT DQ. SURE THE KIDS LOVED IT, BUT IT WAS A SELFISH DECISION. I NEEDED A TREAT.