The weekend after my birthday I began moving to the house on the lake. Scott offered to come and help. By the time he drove the 5 hours to my place, the bulk of things had already been moved, but he helped organize and checked out various things at the lake house and repaired a few things needing a man’s touch.
My heart wanted to move forward emotionally but my head was waving caution flags. Sometimes life tries to get our attention. Life was trying.. but I didn’t wanna look. Scott noticed the emotional distance that was between us now. He apologized again for not letting me know sooner that he wouldn’t be able to spend time with me on my birthday weekend. I understood that sometimes plans just don’t work out.. I get that part. It was the way he went about not letting me know, that caused my dander to be on end. He said he understood why I was upset. Apology accepted.
He asked me to follow him out to his truck. He pulled a large flat box from the back seat. He turned to hand it to me saying, “Your birthday gift.”
He carefully balanced it on end while I unwrapped it. Inside the box was safely packed a beautiful stained glass wall hanging. He had brought along some hooks and a drill so that he could hang it for me.
He held it up in different places in the livingroom until I made my selection. It should hang to one side of the patio doors so that each time I look out at the lake, I will see the beautiful stained glass and think of him.
That’s when Scott asked if he could make it up to me by spending a couple of days together in Chicago. I’d never been there and he wanted to show me the city. He asked what days I’d have available and that he’d make the plans. It sounded like fun and I agreed to the trip.
Ten days later, we met in Rockford, IL and drove the rest of the way into Chicago together. Finding a particular hotel in a maze of one way streets and skyscrapers was quite an adventure in itself. Finally after directions from two passersby we found our hotel. After settling in, we had dinner at the hotel and with complimentary tickets for the consierge we attended a comedy club.
Early the next morning, Sept. 7, 2011 we put on our walking shoes and headed to the Navy Pier. There was to be a stained glass exhibit that we wanted to see. I quickly learned why Chicago is called the ‘windy city’. The closer we got to the lake, the windier it got. Even though the sun was shining, the air temperature was cool. We checked into taking a lake cruise but due to the high winds, they wouldn’t be sailing today. We meandered down the pier and found a ferris wheel. Once onboard we could see the Chicago skyline on one side and far out across Lake Michigan on the otherside. It was spectacular.
As it neared lunch time we walked back toward the hotel looking for a place to eat. We happened upon the nicest little Bistro. Once we ordered our food, Scott excused himself to the men’s room.
The waiter delivered the homemade soups and deli sandwiches that we’d ordered, but Scott wasn’t back to the table yet. I scanned the large dining area trying to locate him. Nowhere to be found, I took a sip of soda. When I looked up, there he was, standing in front of me. The color in his face had drained and he had tears in his eyes. Something was terribly wrong.
He pulled out his chair and his eyes met my questioning gaze. “My wife called.. she had a doctor’s appointment. There’s a large tumor in her abdomen. The doctor said she has colon cancer.”
I don’t know which came first, the gasp from my mouth or the tears stinging my eyes.