December 8th, 1989

December 8th, 1989
At home

While dad and I were eating dinner, the phone rang.
“Do you want me to get that?”
“Naw,” dad said. “If it’s important, they’ll phone back.”
The ringing didn’t let up.
“I better answer it,” dad said, getting up from the table.

Through the glass wall, I watched dad pick up the receiver and I hope, hope, hoped it wasn’t Ben being a pest. I quickly surmised from dad’s body language that whatever he was hearing wasn’t good news.

When he came back into the kitchen, he looked pale.
“Is everything ok?”
“It’s my da, he’s in the hospital. He had a heart attack.”
“Oh no, poor Granda. Is he going to be ok?”
“I hope so,” dad said, with a deep sigh.
“Who was that on the phone?” I asked.
“Kathy. She’s there with him now. The others are on their way.”
“What did she say?”
“The doctors are no saying much, aside from the obvious that my da is eighty-three and this is his fourth heart attack.”
“I’m so sorry dad, this is horrible news.”
“I think I need a wee half to calm my nerves.”
“Good idea. Do you think you need to go up to Scotland?”
“Uff, I don’t know. Mum’s no in any state to be alone at the moment.”
“I can stay with her.”
“You’re due back at work soon.”
“I can ring crewing and see if I can get some leave.”
“No, no, no, I don’t want you to do that,” he said, adding water to the generous measure of whisky in his glass. “I’ll wait and see what happens.” He was quiet for a moment before he took a huge gulp of his drink.
“I better go and tell mum about my da.”

On his way upstairs, he muttered, “It never rains but it pours.”

 

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