The Vacation That Wasn’t

Over at The High Calling, Sam Van Eman remembers a family vacation – or, rather, not a vacation:

In the meantime, I had been writing stories about my childhood, an era when my own dad spent more time at the bar than home. He had neither vacation time to take, nor interest in doing anything of the sort. With his old failures so prominent in my mind and physically written down inches away from our vacation folder on the desk, I resolved all the more to do for my family what he never did for his: I would save, plan, and spend. I’d stretch far to serve them and to distance him. When June came, I’d hear my father concede from the grave that, yes, I was the better man.

Only the June I had expected never came. A house fire scare and resulting illness set off a series of events that began to paralyze us. I had no way of knowing this would become our most difficult summer. Even if I could, it didn’t appear to be unworkable yet. So I struggled when my wife asked questions like, “What if we altered this?” and “What if we changed that?”

Read the whole piece here.


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