When Karl went to Texas to teach this fall, everything here was seemingly normal. Then I have my return cancer scare in November. Karl offered to come home. I said no…come at Thanksgiving, and he did.
Karl was again home at Christmas…again, everything was seemingly back to normal. Then at the end of January, when Kramer was diagnosed with cancer, Karl said he was coming home. I said no. We don’t know anything yet. Stay. I promised him then that if anything went bad and it was time for him to come home, I would tell him. It was a pact we made.
Karl had to sign his contract to teach in the fall and he decided that with things the way they were that he’d be best finding something here in the fall instead.
Karl was home at Spring break. Kramer was doing pretty good then. Kramer and I had a long talk with Karl and told him that we didn’t want him to put his life on hold for us. If he wanted to be in Texas, we wanted him to stay there. With our blessing, Karl went back and talked to his principal saying he was still interested in a fall job.
As things slowly got worse with Kramer Karl would often call and offer to come home. I’d always put him off saying, “Karl, remember our pact? I promise I’ll call you and tell you when it’s time to come home.”
Well as the time progressed the call to come home to Iowa was more and more in Karl’s ear and about three weeks ago Karl made the decision that he wanted to be home in Iowa. He’d finish up the school year and then be home. It’s all kind of scary….he has to leave a job to no job and it’s late in the teaching world to find a job for fall. With all that in place, Karl decided home was the first priority, a job would come…
For the last month we’ve been talking and making plans…he was coming this day and we were going to do this or that.
Well Tuesday after the PET scan and learning the results, Kramer and I called the kids and told them one by one. Some we made the decision to wait until they were done with work. The kids might as well finish the day without all of this bringing them down.
So about 3:45pm I waited as long as I could. Kramer was sleeping so I made the call myself. I said, “Karl, remember our pact?” He said, “Yes.” I said, “Well Karl, it’s time to come home.”
We talked some more. I asked Karl when he was done with the school year and how we could help him. Karl’s reply was quick. He said, “Today was my last day.” I knew he wasn’t telling the truth.
After some phone calls to his principal and talks with me, we decided it was okay to end the school year early and come. He was supposed to be done next Tuesday. He quit a week early to come home.
In the end, I think it was the right decision. We have no idea how long Kramer will be able to visit, to make decisions, to say good-bye….I don’t want Karl to miss any of that.
…and so, it’s with sad words that I say, I kept my pact. My boy is home!