Within a month, the program manager had fired my manager Jenny. The writing was on the wall so to speak. Her organizational skills were nil and putting me in a Dorothy costume to hang out at a mall did not go over too well with upper management. I had been called into the program manager’s office where he had offered me the management position for $8,000 less a year than Jenny was offered. Hmmmm. Nope wasn’t going to take it, I had too many things personally on my plate at the time with Dad dying of cancer, and truthfully I felt that I was worth more than a $2,500 a year raise by that point for a management position.
In the meantime Dad had been rushed to the hospital where we had been told he would only have a couple of more weeks to live. Immediately, Mom called Dad’s old friend and employer to give him the bad news that Dad wouldn’t be going into the office anymore. Terry asked if Dad would be going home to die. Mom replied no, we needed nursing and couldn’t afford round the clock care. Without hesitation, Terry offered to pay for any care and medication in order for Dad to be with family in his own comfortable surroundings at the end of his life.
Angels on earth come in many shapes and sizes, and Terry (our angel) had shown himself to our little family. Mom and I discussed the offer quietly and quickly. We accepted it. To this day I’m not sure whether Dad even knew what was happening, that his good friend and employer had made it possible for him to die at home.
Dad arrived home extremely tired. A hospital bed and oxygen machine was delivered to our door to be placed in the living room. A nurse took his vitals, set up the oxygen machine, handed us the liquid morphine, and disclosed to us that it wouldn’t be long, perhaps another couple of weeks. Was there anything else she could do for us, she asked? Our reply in unison was no, unless she could cure him, all bets were off.
The next day I typed up my resignation and hand delivered it to the General Manager at the radio station.
I sat in his office in the chair opposite his huge desk while he read it. He bowed his head, picked up the sheet of paper and threw it in the garbage. He then slowly stood up, turned around to look out his large picture window and said, ‘I can’t and won’t accept this’.
I began to cry. I was not a person who would cry in front of anyone, but the realization that Dad was dying finally hit me, and I never thought it would be this difficult to quit my job.
I tried to pull myself together, but the sobbing continued to grow. The General Manager turned around, handed me a Kleenex box, without looking at me and said,
‘I want you to go outside, take a walk around the block, then go home. If you feel the same way tomorrow morning, I will have no choice but to accept your resignation. There are things we can do here; we can offer you a leave of absence immediately for however long you need. You don’t have to quit’.
I rose from the chair, grabbed a wad of Kleenex and left the room with head bowed so no one would see my tears.
I was not looking forward to the morning where I knew I would enter the General Manager’s office to reaffirm my resignation. Once I had made my mind up, there was no turning back. Time was ticking and I was lost. Would I ever find my way back again? Would I be changed for life? Would this anger inside me ever diminish? I was furious at the world, and thought, how could Dad leave us now?