The day after that oh-so-notorious, greeting-card-company-created celebration of love, desire, and the burnings & yearnings of the human heart, my father-in-law went in for a routine angiogram, to check the status of his heart. There had been a couple of occasions in recent months when he had experienced pain and restricted breathing that had, fortunately, subsided after a few moments.
Still, he figured he’d best check it out. He mentioned it casually, during a visit, and tried to dissuade my husband from giving him a ride, insisting it was nothing to worry about.
My husband and I, meanwhile, were packing and preparing for a romantic getaway from the grey and skeletal Ontario winter, during my mid-semester break. We had used the funds from the sale of a VW van we were no longer going to have time to use, and were all primed to fly down south, to sample some of the Cuban delicacies in Miami, before boarding a relaxing cruise that would whisk us away to Arruba and Curacao, among other such glamorous locales.
But, as we all know, the heart sometimes has other plans: in this case, my father in law’s–and indeed, our own–as we learned the shocking news.