Total Pageviews

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Losing a Parent

It’s tough losing my dad, even when I’m a senior citizen myself. I will always be his oldest daughter, his writing collaborator and his biggest fan. I never tired of saying how blessed I felt that at the ripe age of almost 68 I still had both my parents in my life. I could see them helping my husband and I celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in three years. But that didn’t happen. He checked out two weeks before his 71st anniversary.

As my mom’s caregiver, he was the healthy one. He was adventuresome and would be very active. However, my mom, whose comfort zone is a table in her kitchen, didn’t want him going anywhere. His job was to take care of her. I had big plans for traveling with him after my mom was gone. But life is like that sometimes. He’s gone. She could live to be 100 and she doesn’t like it one bit. But here we are.

Logic says that it was his time. He had a good life. He was almost 92. Logic isn’t worth a crap at a time like this. He’s gone. I miss him and I have this hole in my heart. His four daughters all miss him terribly, but we honor him by doing everything we can to take care of our mother and make sure she is safe, physically and financially.

My dad: the editorial opinion writer, the book publisher, the diehard Republican. I was honored to be his editor for his books and articles, and set up his conservative blog. I disagreed with a lot of things he wrote, but I was thrilled with his determination to keep trying to sway people to his point of view. The last thing I wrote for him was his obituary.

He was cremated and we will hold a party to celebrate his life. My dad had many friends. It should be well attended. We will talk about our favorite memories. My nephew will sing a song he wrote for him. A Quaker minister will deliver a homily. And we will release butterflies so my dad can again soar into the heavens and fly, his greatest joy.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Ringing in a New Year in Style

Resolutions aside, the New Year is a great time to give thanks for all our blessings. In addition to the wonderful people in our lives, our relative ease of livelihood and great experiences add richness to our lives and make us feel very fortunate. This year, we watched the New Year ring in from around the world and celebrated our familiarity with all those places:

Times Square, New York: Probably the quintessential New Year’s Eve venue, we celebrated it there last year to commemorate our 45th wedding anniversary. We were probably the oldest people there, crammed in with over a million of our close personal friends.

Memphis on Beale Street: We spent three delightful evenings there this past October while at a professional conference.

Key West, Florida: Several times on diving trips, we spent time in Key West on the waterfront, eating seafood and watching an amazing routine of cat tricks. Who knew cats could be trained?

Dubai: Brilliant fireworks from the Burj Khalifa reminded us of our trip to Dubai and looking down from its observation platform. Also, last year in Times Square, we met a man from Dubai who came here to celebrate!

On a cruise ship in the Caribbean: We did that one better. At the turn of the Millennium, we were on a cruise ship in the South Pacific, watching dawn over Pitt Island, the Southernmost inhabited island. Then we crossed the International Dateline and did New Year’s Eve #2!

We know at some point, these adventures and other gallivanting around the world will come to an end, but I will never feel cheated from life. We have shared a richness with other cultures that continually makes me feel awestruck at the diversity on this planet. And, while strife goes with the territory, I feel I’m a better world citizen for having traveled to faraway places and soaked up the culture, not expecting it or wanting it to be “just like home”.