Daddy was dying. The bone cancer, now complicated by pneumonia, had sent him to the hospital again. I stayed in a hotel nearby for three days. When the doctor said he had stabilized, I returned home to work on some writing deadlines.
A day later, my brother Tom called. Daddy had taken a turn for the worse. You’d better hurry, he said, if you want to see him. Bob cancelled his meetings in Seattle so he could pick me up at the dock after the ferry delivered me to the mainland.
As I rode across the waters of Puget Sound, the irony of taking a boat to get to Daddy’s bedside was not lost on me. He loved the water and the ferry represented for him the fun of rivers and oceans and his greatly anticipated summer vacations.
Except for a brief stint at the Grays Harbor Chair Factory, Daddy spent his whole working life at the Graystone Company. Sometimes, when he got home from the day shift, the plant boss would call, asking if he could fill in for someone that evening, and he would go back to work the graveyard shift. I never heard him say, “No.”