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.
March 2, 2010 at 9:21 am
I agree with you, Jimmy, on visiting the loved ones that have been lost in the past. I lost my dad as well two years ago and hesitated to go visit his memorial down in St. Augustine, Florida. But, when I traveled down there and had a “one-on-one” with him, I felt a sigh of relief and a feeling of great emotional strength. I believe in the old cliche “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and I will continue to live a life of great faith.
March 2, 2010 at 12:52 pm
What a great post to honor your dad.