In Honor of Dad (Jane)

Trip Start Jun 22, 2008
Trip End Jul 04, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just before our teambuilding weekend my father was admitted to the hospital and during that weekend it became apparent that the outcome would not be favorable. This is when being 10,000 miles from home is the hardest – when you want to get back and there's no quick or easy way.  Because of the recent 9.0 earthquake in Japan, the resulting tsunami, radiation from the damaged nuclear plants, and numerous aftershocks, flying our normal route through Narita was not a good option.  Other last minute choices lead to Continental being the only one with a reasonable price that wouldn’t take us through Japan.  Unfortunately, before I could even get out of Manila my father passed away.  I still took the 32 hour door-to-door trip as scheduled.  Manila to Guam, Guam to Hawaii, Hawaii to Houston, Houston to Tampa and then a 2 hour drive.  4 plane changes and 12 time zones.  Whoever said it’s a small world lied!  By the time I got there I was so tired I almost forgot why I came.  Russ didn’t get out of Manila until a few days later and took the same long route.

When I think about how I got where I am today, I know a lot of it was because of my father.  He made sure we were provided for, educated, and knew the value of  financial responsibility and hard work.  We could always count on him to worry about us and help us over the rough spots.  One of the things he would always tell us as kids was "don’t sweat the small stuff".  But when it came to his family, he always did. 

When I think about how I “physically” came to be where I am now – living in the Philippines – I know that a lot of that also had to do with my father.  Dad traveled all over the world in his work with the US government.  The evidence of this is all over the house in the photos, souvenirs and numerous items he brought back from his trips overseas.  Visitors to the house would get “the tour” of his acquisitions and the stories behind them.  He loved to travel and experience other cultures including their foods.  As kids we were subjected to all sorts of cuisine from yukky French liver pate to Thai curry so spicy I thought my teeth would fall out.  At the time we just wanted hamburgers and hot dogs but eventually we learned to appreciate the foods of far away places.

Dad encouraged us to learn and be curious about our world.  He told me “any day you haven’t learned something new is a day wasted” (he was probably trying to get me to do my homework).  There were always National Geographic magazines in the house and we watched all their TV specials way before they had their own cable channel.  We spent a lot of time on road trips traveling to various places around the US visiting numerous historical sites and national parks.  Because his job required travel to the Washington DC area, we tagged along and spent our days exploring the Smithsonian museums, memorial monuments, and government buildings.  My first taste of overseas travel came when my parents sent me to London for the summer to live with a work colleague's family.  I built travel confidence as I navigated the train and Underground and took tours of the countryside alone when I was only 13.  Fast forward through a lifetime of experiences and here I am now, writing from the other side of the world and still learning something new everyday.  Thanks for everything Dad
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Cathy - ASCO Floham Park, NJ on

What a beautiful tribute to your dad. I'm so sorry to hear of his loss.
Take care of yourself.

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