My Dad had gone on his first trip to Asia, stopping first in Japan, to visit and stay with an exchange student's family, my Dad's girlfriend had living at her house. My Dad wanted to experience Japan, and live with a family, and get a true feeling of the country and all its customs.
Shortly after arriving, my Dad developed signs of blood clots in his legs. Fit and active all his life, this kind of health issue got him completely off guard. He was hospitilized and his girlfriend phoned me to tell me of the situation.
I was booked on the next flight - literally. I had my passport renewed within an hour and within 24 hours of the call, I was on a flight to Japan, not really knowing where I was going, or what to expect once I got there.
I visited with my Dad for a week in ICU, he was alert, not in any pain, but as weak as a newborn pup. This was not the Dad I knew. My Dad could do anything, lift anything and be stubborn enough to survive this horrible ordeal. That morning my Dad had gone into cardiopulmonary arrest and machines were now keeping him alive. The time came, when I had to make the decision. It was probably one of the biggest decisions I had had to make. Tests were done in front of me, to show he had no brain activity, and I gave the doctors permission to disconnect any machines keeping him alive.
It was a very hard thing to do, to put the final closure on my Dad's life, one of two persons that gave me life.
As I said, it's been fifteen years, and I still miss him and think about him. It was cherry blossom time in Japan, and they now remind me of my Dad and this fateful day, fifteen years ago. Father's day is typically a day to remember one's dad, this is my day to remember my Dad, and all he meant to me.
|Dad, circa 1965, camera in hand.|
One of my favorite photos of him.