My father, never a telephone conversationalist, called me. His request was brief, “Please come home. We need your help.” My father never asked anything of me, not one time. “I’m on my way.” I bought a ticket and I flew home. Kindhearted Richard and Frankie picked me up at the airport. Frankie was frail. He wasn’t driving the old DeVille, Richard was. Frankie used a walker to get around. His back and legs were too weak to drive. I hugged each of them, my heart wept at the sight of Frankie, wishing I had made more frequent trips back to them. They were my people. For the first time, it was stunningly clear that, contrary to the little girl wishes I harbored, they would not be with me forever.
I asked them what was wrong at the yard, why did my father need me? They were stoic, “It’s Noah. And Ambrose. Your dad will tell you.” I couldn’t imagine what was wrong. My mind conceived every configuration, flashes of vixen women and love gone wrong, or felony, or something too horrible to think of but what would that be? An accident that maimed them both, treachery that involved Columbian drug cartels? I had no idea. I had to wait to find out because whatever it was, was so terrible that only my father could tell me.