This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 14, 2005 4:01 AM. The previous post in this blog was Tough love. The next post in this blog is Rising star. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, November 14, 2005

The answer

In various media interviews I've done about blogging, the question "Why?" has always been front and center. Why do people write, and read, these things?

Well, here: This is why.

Comments (8)

Wow, and how about the emotional comments? When are your blog responders going to open up like that? Okay, I’ll go first. My father was dying of colon cancer in Massachusetts in 1993. I stayed with him and my Mom for 6 weeks on a snowy, isolated, former maple-syrup farm. I was lining up hospice, and making decisions that he would have made. His doctor told me not to call an ambulance if my Dad had a heart attack. Don’t revive him; just let him go. I can remember many details from the doctor’s office on the day I heard that.
My father was brilliant and he was still generating great quotes at astounding rates. One morning I asked how he was and he said, “Not bad for someone in my line of work.” There was a documentary on Saudi Arabia one night, and there he was for an instant, young and dressed in white, walking along with these other men from the oil company called Aramco. I went to tell him that he was just on national TV, and in a weak voice he said, “Fame at last.”
The morning came when I had to fly back to Oregon, so I knew it was goodbye. I said the appropriate things, but just as I was leaving I said one of his old sayings with an Arabic word in it, “Take her schway, the Aramco way.” As the car pulled out of the driveway, I pondered how stupid it was to tell someone dying of cancer to take it slow, but that’s what I said, and there’s no going back now.

I did my own tribute to my mom's passing this weekend. It's been nine years and like Bill, I can still remember many of the details. Sitting in the hospital cafeteria with my dad watching him try and make sense of what was happening. He kept saying "It's not supposed to be like this. I was supposed to die first." How do you even respond to something like that? You shouldn't have to at 25. What an amazing time in my life. I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but I also wouldn't trade those days for anything.

Chris, don't be so modest. You should have linked to this.


It's been ten years since my father died. It seems like yesterday. My dad could tell a great joke and had a laugh that made life worth living. He was smart and funny and handsome and accomplished and honest and a really good dad. My female friends were infatuated and my male friends remember how big he was. Months after his death, the obituary we wrote for him was copied word for word by another grieving family. We understood that was a great compliment. 300 friends attended his funeral. I'm honored to now understand how lucky I am that half of me is him.

My father passed away 12 1/2 years ago. It happened at the beginning of Spring Break in my senior year of college.

When he died, I was in the middle of a ten-day department field trip at a particularly desolate national park. No phones, no contact with the outside world.

Word finally made its way (via telegram, I believe) to the tiny town at the outskirts of the park. A park ranger tracked us down and delivered the news. My father had been gone for nearly a week when I heard of his death.

I was the only family member not present with him at the end. I'm told that he cried a tear, gently squeezed brother's hand, and let out a whisper of a sigh. And then he was gone.

By the time I made it back home, he had already been cremated and carried back to his home state. I'm told he was laid to rest under a USN Korean War veteran's marker. Cancer, at age 63. He had been retired for less than a year.

One day, I hope to have the courage to visit with him.

my parents are all still alive, but far away and i miss them terribly sometimes. Thanks for this little reminder to call them and talk about stupid stuff and giggle and let them know i think about them.

My mom died nearly three years ago (has it been that long?). She was a strong, intelligent, beautiful farm wife...and I miss her every day. She was my biggest fan.

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