Ian lowers his voice and speaks to William and Sarah in a conspiratorial whisper. If he only had ten hours left to live, he would at least spend the time having fun with his children in ways that hopefully they would remember later. What purpose would it serve to tell them that their father was dying?
“You know how I’ve been promising to take you to the theme park, but then I never do?” They nod their heads knowingly, but still don’t get why their dad has called them out of class in the middle of the day. “Well, I thought, it’s such a beautiful day out and the weatherman has predicted showers for the weekend, so why wait a minute longer?”
Their lips curve into smiles. “Dad, does that mean that you’re taking us to the theme park now,” asks William. I nod. “You mean, right now,” Sarah, the younger of the two asks, unsure of this good luck that has befallen them. I nod again and before they are able to squeal in excitement, I quickly put my finger to my lips gesturing to them that they should keep quiet for fear of alerting the Receptionist of any wrongdoing.
In great spirits we drive with the top down to the local theme park on the outskirts of town. I feel guilty remembering all the times I’ve let the children down by not bringing them to the theme park providing them with one or other feeble excuse; but we’re here now and that’s all that matters. With only a handful of visitors, we practically had the park to ourselves. I join William and Sarah in savoring a stick of cotton candy, wondering when last I had indulged in this spun sugar treat.
What followed was an afternoon filled with priceless laughter and unbeknown to William and Sarah, their last (happy) memories with their dad. Driving back home much later I am comfortable with the decision that I made. I am at peace when William and Sarah give me a bear hug and tell me that the afternoon was the best time they had ever spent with me.
Ian decides to...