Here’s what how I imagined it would happen.
I’m in Austin, minding my own business. I go to work in the morning, I come home in the evening. I’m working on one of my myriad projects — recording tracks for Eponymous 4, doing homework for C# class, writing a review for Musicwhore.org. Maybe I’m watching an episode of Good Eats for the umpteenth time.
Then I get a call. "Son, you need to come home." I get on a plane. I go to the funeral. I get back on a plane, and life resumes.
Intent and outcome are rarely coincident, Morpheus once said in The Sandman. The same, of course, applies to reality and fantasy.
One aspect of that last scenario came true — I did get a call, a few actually. And the message was simple: Dad doesn’t have much longer, and it would be good if you could see him before he went.
I had already bought a ticket home. I timed it for my mom’s birthday — and also the last day of C# class — and I wanted it to be a surprise. (Another example of intent and outcome being rarely coincident.)
But the conversations had turned urgent. At first, I spilled the beans about the surprise visit. That bought some time but not enough for my dad to hold out till December.
So I rescheduled the flight from Dec. 9 to Nov. 22, and I sent an e-mail to my office saying, You know That Call I said I might be getting at any time? Any time has become now.
Eleven hours and two-layovers later, I was back in Hawaiʻi.