On the evening of May 13th, the Huz and I settled in to watch what turned out to be the last Leafs game of this year's playoff season.
I'm not a huge hockey fan, but it had been so long since we actually made the playoffs that I had a little hunger for the excitement of it all. I used to love watching the games with friends over wings and beer, but as friends got married, had kids, and couldn't come out to play anymore, watching hockey kind of lost its cachet for me.
There we were, ahead by two points, with about two minutes left to play. "I can't believe this is happening!" I said cheerfully, wondering if I'd be able to make some sort of social event out of the next series.
Boston managed to score two goals in those last couple of minutes, which tied up the game and sent us into overtime. "I can't believe this is happening", I said dismally, trying to think of another reason to have company over for a night of booze and junk food.
My computer then started 'bleep blooping' in the familiar way that it does when someone calls me on Skype. I knew it was my dad, since he's the only one who ever calls.
"Hey Dad", I started, bracing myself for a bad joke about the Leafs
As it turned out, he wasn't calling about hockey. He hadn't actually realized that the game was on or he would have been watching it himself. No, he was calling to give me the new details of his eventual cremation.
Before I go any further, you should know that my dad is not sick. He just knows what he wants in death and has made certain that he gets it. Actually, he and his second wife both thought that they knew what they wanted in death, and made their arrangements together years ago. Now that they are no longer married, neither one wants to be buried in the spot that they originally chose and paid for, let alone side by side. The lesson here is that it is sometimes possible to plan TOO far ahead.
Anyhow, my dad now has new plans, and he was calling just before the start of the game seven overtime period to let me know about them.
"Dad", I asked, "do you feel healthy enough to have this conversation after the next goal?"
When he realized that he was missing the game too, he quickly hung up, agreeing to talk about it later.
For those of you who followed the game, you know that the Leafs lost. Shortly after Boston scored the goal that ended it for us, I got an e-mail from my dad offering his condolences. And of course his cremation details.