december 24th, 2013
unlike most stories, this one begins in the middle. on 12/24/2013, sometime in the evening, on christmas eve, i received quite possibly the worst, no… i stand corrected, the “worst”, information i had ever received in my life. i was sitting in the parking lot of the local grocery and decided to give my mother and father a call, wishing them a merry christmas. they were staying home for the night and we would see them later in the week. after the normal, ‘hello’ and ‘how are you doing’ questions that always come up at the beginning of every phone call, my mother started crying. of course, i asked, “what is wrong”… her response, “i am not allowed to tell you”. my response, “either tell me, or i will start driving and be at your house in two hours”. she handed the phone to my father. for all of you that knew my father, you will not be surprised by his delivery… he was calm, cool and calculated. he let me know that the doctor had found a mass on his kidney, it was probably cancerous and they were going to remove the kidney. not a great way to start the christmas season.