“In about two days. We’ll be driving out to your place.”
“Are you sure your old Taurus is up for the trip?” Meg joked.
“Don’t worry I have a Premier membership with CAA,” said John.
After his conversation with his sister John Richards had a lot to think about. First he had to think about his soon to be deceased father. Robert Richards was the kind of man that made the idea of his passing seem very unreal to John. Yes, he knew that people die every day from cancer or with heart conditions, but his father was somewhat exceptional. He was what is known as a man’s man. Robert Richards worked hard all his life as a heavy equipment operator. He was only sixty-seven years old and always seemed to be in robust health. It was a very rare occasion for John’s father to ever miss a day of work because of illness. Whenever Robert caught a cold or some type of virus he usually went to work anyway and pushed through his discomfort. He liked to think of himself as being tough and in actuality, he was.
Although he was always a hard worker and a good provider, Robert Richards also believed in enjoying life. He loved his cigarettes, his beer and his whiskey. John’s dad also liked to indulge in a high carbohydrate diet that inevitably resulted in Robert developing a weight problem as he grew older. Robert rarely got any regular exercise outside of his job. He used to belong to a ten pin bowling team but had to give this pastime up when he developed a painful arthritic condition in his knees. A year and a half ago Robert had a total left knee replacement.
It became obvious to John that his father’s health was beginning to decline as he entered his sixth decade of life. Many of his life style choices were now catching up with him. Still, it was hard to believe that his father was dying of cancer and only had a short time to live. John Richards has a tendency to live in denial and believing in his father’s invincibility was a prime example.
John was not looking forward to having to say goodbye to his father. Although John was certain of his father’s love for him he couldn’t remember ever hearing his father tell him that he loved him. On the other hand, it probably wasn’t very often that John had told his father that he loved him even though he truly did. Robert Richards did not believe in wearing his heart on his sleeve and this was something that he had passed on to his son.
John realized that both Ryan and Stephanie would arrive home in a couple of hours and that he would have to break the bad news about their grandfather to them.