BKlutch wrote: HarthorneWingo wrote:
Sorry man, I just saw this. I lost my dad a while ago, so I know how losing a dad and a friend hurts. Make next summer better. That's the only way. They'd want you to.
Thanks BK. I made my decision to leave Philadelphia and return to LI back in 2014 in great part because my dad was beginning to have serious medical issues. At that time, it was mostly falling down along with cognitive episodes like almost setting fire to the house.
We got to spend a lot of time together which I will always cherish. I got to care for him and we got to tell the other how much we loved them. I wouldnâ€™t trade this time with him for anything in the world. He suffered the last 6 months but he never gave in. He had a strong will to live. He was 100 when he passed.
His is an inspiring story - he lived over 99 years in reasonably good shape. That's great. I'm glad you were able to be with him during the years after 2014 - it's good to see someone who loves being alive at that age. I've sworn to myself that not even the Knicks would take that from me, although they may never win again if we all live to 100. For the past 10 years, after a difficult life for the previous 15 or 20 years, I've seriously tried to find what would make life happy and worth living. So far, I can say I wake up every morning grateful to be alive, but I'm not certain I could explain exactly why to others. So I keep on keeping on. I hope you learned that from your dad, too.
Yes, he taught me a lot over the years from the way but perseverance was probably the one thing that sticks out. He always would quote Thomas Edison, "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."
Shortly after he left Albania at 18 for the University of Graz, in Austria, Albania became communist and put up "The Iron Curtain." If my father came back to Albania, he would not be allowed to return to Graz, to complete his medical school education, which was his dream. He and his parents decided that he was complete his education and they would send him money for his education. He never got to see his parents again.
Then during his time at Graz Univ., a "friend" begged him for what amounted to his tuition money with a promise to pay it right back, yada, yada, yada. So this bum never paid the money back and my dad had to work in the salt mines outside in Austria for work. When that work ran out, he took the boat to America, got a work visa, and worked with other Albanians washing and busing dishes until he saved enough money that he could complete a year of school. He did this 3 times, back and forth across the Atlantic.
After he graduated, he and my mom met and eventually got married. Dad took a job at the Temple Univ. School of Medicine in the pathology dept. while he studied for the NJ and NY state exams. He passed BOTH! The only Albanian doctor to ever do so! (Hey, I'll take it. It's more than I can say for myself.
) He spoke 5 languages (Albania, Italian, German, French, and English) and studied/played the violin and viola beautifully. But most importantly, he was a good and kind man who treated everybody with respect. He stayed married to my mom for 67 years. He didn't drink booze, fool around behind my mom's back, or ever get physical with her or anyone. A gentleman's gentleman.
Sorry if I went on a little bit here. But it just started gushing out.