R.I.P. James A. Knight
On this day back in 2003, I got one of those calls. The kind that you don't want to make or receive. An urgent call from my mom telling me she was booking flight for me to return home-- Something's wrong, He's in the hospital and might not make it!
I remember the stress in her voice. It was nothing like the stress that had built up over the year and a half or so of caring for my father. She would take him on trips to Boston to see specialists, trying to get to the bottom of what was making Mr Knight sick. Time was running out. When we did pinpoint a cause.. it seemed hopeless -Amyloidosis. You'd have to look it up to understand it. "Unheard of", "no cure," but "we can treat it." That's what the doctor said.
So stress wasn't uncommon in their voices. This was different. I had just visited home about a week earlier,... I had just graduated a month and a half earlier. What is going on?
So I packed light, although expecting to spend a weekend home. I called work and headed for the airport. One thing about airports in the post 9-1-1 era is that you do a lot of waiting and a lot of thinking. On this trip I'd also do a lot of praying.
I think about that last hug at the airport, the last hospital visit.. me and my sister singing him a song (can't remember which song)...riding shotgun in Shaboom our "talking" car. So I flew, From Tallahassee,... to Atlanta, .... to North Carolina to Connecticut.
I still had that .."got to make it home now" feeling until my connecting flight in North Carolina. There, staring out of a huge airport window at a mostly clear blue sky..waiting for my plane to board, I knew I would miss being able to say goodbye. -- all confirmed in my sister's face as she embraced me at the Bradley international Airport. No words on the way to the hospital. That knot in my throat only got harder and bigger. I tried to be strong for so long. The sun, finally going down on that dreadful day. Friday, February 13th 2003.
For so long I tried to do the things that I know made him happy, follow in his footsteps, make him proud.
I love you dad (James A. Knight)