Out of the blue, Father summoned me to a family
meeting. This was extraordinary. I wondered what
appalling crime I’d committed now. Mother was
already sitting at the breakfast table, looking meek
and peculiarly ashen. Something was seriously up.
Father sat down heavily. He seemed to wince with
pain. He hemmed and cleared his throat. Father
explained that he had prostate cancer. It was in
the advanced stages and inoperable. His voice
wobbled and his fingers trembled. I didn’t know
what to say. Mother began to cry softly. This was
beyond my experience. I couldn’t console Father.
The doctors estimated that he had six months to
live. I was mortified. Tragedy had struck.