Suddenly, the phone rang. Had he been sleeping?


“Dad, this is Monica. Are you okay?”

“Yes. I’m fine. Why do you ask?”

“Dad! Of course you’re not fine. Mom has just left you! But it’s going to be okay. You’re going to make it through this. Just have faith. One step at a time.”

He tried to think of a response. His mind was blank. “Can I help you with something?”

“Dad! I’m the one who should be helping you. Listen, I’m picking Philip up from soccer at noon. We’ll come right over and I’ll bring you back to our place. You’ll stay with us for a while, at least until we get this sorted out.”

“Thank you, Monica. But, I really don’t think that’s necessary.”

“Dad! You’ve been together for over 40 years. Do you even know where the can opener is?”

He thought about it for a moment. “I imagine it’s in one of the drawers. Isn’t it?”

“You’ll stay with us until we have a plan in place. I’m fixing meatloaf tonight. The kind with baby carrot bits in it – your favorite.”

“That sounds nice, but I should be able to make it on my own.”

“It’s better this way. Besides, I’ve been wanting to take you to my church for ages. This will give us a perfect opportunity.”

“But what about my church?”

“They’ll be okay without you for one Sunday.”

“But I teach Sunday School.”

“Dad, you have 3 old ladies in your class. Two of them can’t hear and the other one argues with everything you say. Tell the pastor to get somebody to fill in for one Sunday. Maybe the lady that can hear can lead. She talks all the time, anyway.”

“I guess you’re right.” He didn’t exactly enjoy teaching the class, but he got a lot out of preparing the lessons.

“Will you be okay until we get there?”

“Yes, I will.”

“Maybe you could read that book I gave you for your birthday. There is a lot of positive affirmation in it.”

“Maybe I will.”

“I’ll see you around two.”

“Thank you, Monica.”

“Okay then. Keep the faith, Dad.”

“I will.”

As he hung up the phone, he rose to his feet. He opened the shades a bit and let a sliver of light squeeze in. He went over to the bookcase and pulled a book off the shelf.

He found the book Everyday Positive Thinking. Inscribed inside the cover were these words –

Dear Dad –

I am praying you engage the power of positive thinking in your life every day. I want only the best for you – to be happy.

With love, Monica

He thumbed through the pages and read a couple of quotes –

     “The thoughts you choose to think and believe right now are creating your future. These thoughts form your experiences tomorrow, next week, and next year.” – Louise L. Hay

     “Intention is a force in the universe, and everything and everyone is connected to this invisible force.” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer.

He rubbed his temples, trying to digest these words. He found no comfort in them. They were like those horse-pill mega-vitamins Rachel used to get him to swallow, claiming they would be good for him. He did it dutifully, but what good did they do? Weren’t they just flushed through his system each time he peed?

He put the book down, put on another Hank Williams CD and moved to his recliner.   Instead of positive thoughts for the present or good intentions for the future, he thought on the past and wondered where he had gone wrong.