I got a surprise today.
It was the last stop on a journey that began on March 18, 2016. I was at the SXSW film festival in Austin, Texas. Things were wrapping up and I was looking forward to spending a couple of days in Houston with my sister-in-law Mary and her kids. Then I got the message from home. My son Ron had fallen. He was vomiting blood. The doctors said he had a stroke.
I headed home the next morning.
Over the following eleven months Ron had been in and out of the hospital. My daughter, son-in-law, and I alternatively cajoled, argued and encouraged him to take better care of himself and, ultimately, to move in with us. I learned more about Disability and Social Security and Medi-Cal than I ever wanted to know. I emptied the room that had been my office for over 20 years so that Ron could have a bedroom.
Today, we went to pick up the last of his widely-scattered belongings. They had been in his apartment, a couple of storage units, the back of his van, and, lastly, at his employer of ten years. I was expecting nothing more than a quick drive through a parking lot, grabbing some boxes and being on my way. That’s not what happened.
I stopped outside the KCC/Computershare offices in El Segundo while Ron went in to get them to open the gate. It was taking a while. I turned off the engine. Ron returned and told me they wanted me to come in. I thought, “They want to see ID.” Then Ron said, “They want to meet you.”
The next fifteen minutes were spent laughing and sharing stories with a dozen of his co-workers. They said how much they had missed him. They commented on how their jobs had gotten harder. One lady bemoaned, “I actually have to talk to IT now.” One gentleman came downstairs with his dog. The dog said goodbye to Ron, too.
It all ended with hugs and fist bumps. Eventually, we did get through the gate and got the last of his belongings and got him home. I always considered Ron to be a likeable, kind, helpful person. Now, I know his co-workers did, too.