Remembering My Dad…

Me & My Dad  London, 1970

Me & My Dad
London, 1970

On October 14th, 1998–13 years ago today–I lost my dad. Because of his high blood pressure (the number one risk factor), he suffered a series of strokes (“TNTC”- too numerous to count, according to his medical records) over a five-year period. In his last two years his mobility and speech were heavily impaired and he needed round-the-clock care. It was heartbreaking to see him lose his independence, but we were given the gift of more time with him. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him, and when I want to feel close to him, I’ll cook. Chopping vegetables, especially onions, always reminds me of him  because he taught me how to do it– I still have a clear picture of what his hands looked like as he sliced through the layers, first vertically and then horizontally.

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

When I came across this quote by Steve Jobs last week, I was reminded of how I felt shortly after my father’s passing. His death made me realize my own mortality and I no longer wanted to take anything for granted. I had been waiting tables for nine years, all the while dreaming of opening a gift shop. On March 20,1999, I followed my heart and funded the opening of Inner Peace with a credit card, thinking the worst that could happen would be regretting not trying. Thankfully, the store was a success, and I am so grateful for this last lesson my dad taught me.

In honor of my father, please take a moment to read about the warning signs of a stroke. There have been advances in medicine since his passing and now you can limit the amount of damage incurred from a stroke if you get to the hospital in time.

5 thoughts on “Remembering My Dad…

  1. THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR FATHER STORY,MY FATHER ALSO A PHILIPPINE BORN DIED OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE STROKE AND COLAPSE LUNGS 8 YEARS AGO,I ALSO HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE HIGH SUGAR AND CHOLESTEROL AND ON LOTS OF MEDICATION FOR LIFE.

  2. That was really delightful to enjoy reading your memories about your Dad…. I was lucky to have met him with you in L.A . It was a good man… Your writing is really nice and really pleasant… Aloha…

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