Today marked the second anniversary of my father’s passing.  I went to Arlington National Cemetery, where he is interred, this weekend to pay respects to my father.  As I’ve blogged about in the past, my three heroes — my father, a retired Army officer; my favorite uncle, Uncle Art, a retired Air Force officer; and the father one of my closest friends, General Jack Guthrie, have all been laid to rest at ANC over the past 3 years.

I do miss my father very much.  But, my family and I are fortunate that he lived a long, wonderful life.  And, I do firmly believe that he’s reunited with his parents, brothers and friends up above.

I remember in the past that when friends had lost a parent, they would say don’t take life for granted.  If you have time to spend with your loved ones … grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, kids, etc — to do so.  One never knows when life can be taken away.

So, when my friends sometime debate whether to go visit a relative, I strongly encourage them to do so.  My family and I are fortunate that my father lived a nearly additional 12 years after a major quadruple bypass surgery in ’96 (his heart stopped twice in the post-op room).  He made a full recovery.  And, I made it a priority to speak to my father nearly every day and to visit my parents on a regular basis.  We also created a few lifetime experiences – such a spring visit to Paris as well as more simple things like attending a Three Tenors concert (my father loved Luciano Pavarotti) and a Nationals game (which was a delight after not having baseball in DC for three decades).

I promised my father that I would focus on taking care of the family, to be good to my friends, to continue to heavily volunteer and help children from lower-income families and to have fun in life.  I lead far from a perfect life, but I live a happy life since I try to best to do as promised.   Last year, we attended a family reunion in Tokyo with my Japanese relatives and a family reunion in Arizona with my American relatives.   And, I feel fortunate to be involved with so many terrific non-profit organizations (I blog regularlylabout my mentees) as well as heavily involved in advising and teaching a number of undergrad and grad students at Georgetown.

I miss you, Dad.  But, I know you’re with me in spirit.  Please give me the strength to continue doing as promised.   I love you.