All she wanted was to go to her dad.
Her mother was usually as stoic as her dad, but now she sank into Karen’s arms, the bulky sack between them pushed what felt like a shoebox into their thighs. And then, Karen could no longer hold her tears back. “I know this is hard for you, honey,” her mother said.
Karen drove eight hours straight from grad school to see for herself how her father was doing. Her 1964 Beetle rattled down the highway. She was sure it would fall apart if she sped up to 60.
Seven years ago, when her parents let her pick a second-hand car as a high school graduation gift, this car’s comforting putter won her over. Now a hole under the back seat threatened to drop out the battery. She didn’t even want to think about the air-cooled engine in another Madison winter. By January her bug would be useless for getting her to class.
When Karen entered her father’s room in the oncology wing she called a hello but he didn’t answer her. His perpetual stinging ind…