My first trip since my Dad passed on

As I sit here in my airplane seat I think about my late father. This is the first trip I’ve taken since he passed on.

My favorite part of my trips past was coming back home to share pictures, videos, and stories of my trip with my parents. I’m grateful I still get to look forward to sharing pictures, videos, and stories with my mom. I’m going to miss my dad not physically being there. I know he will be there in a different way. I won’t be able to see him or hear him and that makes me sad.

My upcoming destinations are multiple including Las Vegas, port of San Pedro LA County California to catch my cruise, and Cabo San Lucas Mexico then back to San Pedro and Las Vegas before flying back home to Wisconsin.

My dads Cremains are are going to be buried at sea off the coast of pearl Harbor Honolulu Hawaii in full Navy Honors. A burial at sea from a U.S. Navy Warship. That’s what he wanted. That’s really all that is left of my late fathers final wishes. His funeral was in full military honors. The master chief who over sees the whole state of wisconsin saw my dads distinguished military career and decided he was the one to do the honors at my dads funeral. My dad was in his Senior Chief Naval Uniform one last time and then cremated in it and now finally en route to being buried at sea in it in his cremain form. I am looking forward to receiving a booklet of pictures and whatever else they send us from the buriel at sea.

My dads brother was also a career naval officer. They enlisted in the Navy on some kind of a “buddy” program in 1961. Somehow they were never stationed together during their whole time in active duty. They kept just missing each other at the same places but were never in those same places at the same time. That was my Uncle Bob. He passed on 9 years ago, was given full military honors, cremated, and then buried at sea off the coast of San Diego, CA from a U.S. Navy Warship. Even in the end they couldn’t be stationed together I joke around about..LoL But, they will be in laid to rest in the pacific ocean so in a way they are finally stationed together.

While I’m on the cruise portion of this trip I will be in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California and the Baja Peninsula of Mexico.

I will be out at sea with my super hero Dad and my Uncle Bob. And now the tears start streaming down my face as I’m typing this in my airplane seat. They are good tears. I just really miss my super hero Dad. There is a lot I miss about him. Well this marks my first time Crying on an airplane. I havent been out at sea with my dad Since I was 11 years old.

My dads last flight was with my mom. He took my mom on an alaskan cruise!! It was just a week and a half before my dad fell deathly ill, went to the hospital, and past on another 12 days later after being omitted as an inpatient. My mom said the whole trip was a struggle for him but he was really happy he went. Even up to the end my dad wanted to enjoy life and go on an adventure. Through all the discomfort of not being able to breath like a normal person he fought to enjoy his time here on earth.

The last time I was on a plane with my dad was not too long before the alaskan cruise. It was extremely difficult for him. He labored to breath. The crew were great it was the legal regulations that just about killed him. They seemed needless to me but that is our inefficient government for you. He’s toting his portable eclipse oxygen machine that he had to be on 24/7 at 2.5 liters by day and 4 or 5 liters at night. They make him sit in a window seat instead of the isle. Making his way to the window was hard work. When you have zero reserve in your lungs it takes the breath out of you and causes great discomfort. Those legal regulations were needless they should have allowed him to sit in an aisle seat. My dad fought for our country that he loves, but like anyone else, he had problems with our government that’s for dayum sure.

The last THREE Times I flew with my dad it was twice to las vegas and once to wendover nevada. The last and final flight with my dad was to Las vegas. My dad received something in the mail about a free stay in a suite with some comedy show tickets and so many credits worth of free food at the old Riviera. When he showed it to me I said, “Dad they made you an offer you can’t refuse let’s go! I’ll do everything for you so you can do your best to relax and enjoy the trip!” Well that was all he needed to hear and before you know it he was booking our flight on southwest airlines direct flights in and out of las vegas. We stayed three nights at the riviera just before they closed it and eventually imploded that beautiful CLASSIC property on the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. How sad that place is no longer there. I took thousands of pictures and videos knowing this would be the last. I also went back out there when they imploded it and got all of that on video, too =) Wow what a show they put on to implode that beautiful las vegas classic! My dad was not with me on that trip but I did see him like and comment on the video I posted of the implosian. Something about how he left his watch in our suite and asked me if I could go and recover it from the rubble… LoL My dad joked and made people laugh literally up to the day he passed on. Amazing.

Ohhhh Las Vegas. I have my parents to thank for my love of las vegas. They are the ones who took my brother and I out there when we were kids. At first I was just a baby so I don’t remember those first trips from our home in San Diego across the Desert to Las Vegas but there is a picture of me swimming in one of the hotel pools even before I was walking! I love that =) My first MEMORY of las vegas is not til I was 16 and then 17 years old a year and a half apart. Between those two trips and forming those first conscious memories I had fallen in love with Las Vegas. That city has evolved so much since then you can’t even recognize it anymore except for maybe fremont. The south end of the strip is totally different there might be 2 or 3 properties that are still there and even those have expanded and grown so much they are nothing like how they were. The strip is a complete facelift makeover. Sadly everything is riduclously over priced now along with it and the classic vegas deals are ALMOST non existent anymore. I’m still going to love this city.

My parents mainly went to gamble and enjoy the classic vegas deals on hotel stay and food. That’s how they got people to gamble in the old days. Save on food and hotel stay so you’d have more money to gamble with. Knowing how and when to comp the players had a lot to do with it too.

Me on the other hand, I don’t gamble much. When I do gamble, which is not often, I only play with five dollars. I feel entertained and satisfied on five bucks and if I win something, great! I don’t put my winnings back =) I mostly love the climate, the way the properties look inside and outside, the people watching, and I LOVE getting outside of the city to go hiking in the surrounding parks, mountains, canyons, in all of it’s unforgiving splender. I LOVE the las vegas mountainous desert I belive it’s my favorite natural landscape on planet earth. Las Vegas also has an amazing Art Culture! There is so much more to do there than gamble.

The one time I was actually out at sea with my dad was on a cruise. So as it turns out my first cruise was with my parents and little brother. The four of us! I have my parents to thank not only for my love of Las Vegas but also my LOVE of cruising over the open seas. It’s a magical experience to be out on the open water like that. The cruise my parents took us on when I was only 11 years old made a life long impact on me. That also happens to be my first conscious memory of the ocean which I fell in love with immediately. I was only a year and a half when we moved out of san diego and they never took me back since. They never took me back to any ocean again til I was 11 for the cruise. It was a disney cruise. This was before disney had their own cruise line like they have today. This was on premier cruise lines. They had two ships that sailed together. The oceanic and the Royal Caribbean ( not to be confused with the modern day royal caribbean cruise line ). We sailed on the Oceanic. It was the larger of the two ships which I thought was pretty cool at 11 years old. I remember sailing around the parameter of a hurricane. I think it was hurrican hugo. Remember that? I remember it was on our way back from our port in the bahamas. This was also my first time outside of the country. My parents introduced me to my first experience in international waters and in another country! The water was so rough. The ship rocked back and forth so slowly. There were moments I can remember where peoples drinks nearly fell over. I loved it. To this day I LOVE walking around when I can feel the waves. It feels so cool to me! Now a days I also enjoy a nice warm toasty BUZZ when the ship is rolling with the waves. I just love how that feels! Come to think of it, this cruise at 11 on a DISNEY cruise was also my first legal gambling experience..LoL Once you are 12 miles out from the coast line you are outside of the country and in international waters. At that point the ship got to make up it’s own rules and one of them was to allowed people of all ages to gamble in their casino. My parents gave my lil brother and I some coins to play on the slot machines with. Yeah I thought that was pretty cool at 11! Looking back from age 40 I still think it’s pretty awesome =)

We did not go to too many places outside of regular trips to saint louis to visit family. The places we did travel to were really very cool and it was more than enough to give me my love for las vegas, the caribbean sea, cruising over the ocean, and travel over all. I have my parents to thank for all of that.

My dad made his final travel from this earth on to the next. I don’t know what that looks like or what it’s like. None of us here on earth knows that experience, yet. Does it look like anything? To see is physical. When we are no longer physical can we see? If we cannot see does anything look like anything? What a mystery. So much of a mystery humans have pondered these quetions since the beginning of our existence. My super hero dad was already a genius here on earth in physical form. Now he knows the answers to these deep eternal questions. I wish there was a way I could ask him questions about what he’s experienced over the last four months.

One thing I love about my dad and I’m so grateful for is he ALWAYS had time for me and my questions. I’m a very curious person. I always have been and will NEVER stop being curious. People who are not curious are boring aliens to me. My dad NEVER told me to shut up when I had questions. He never didn’t have time for me when I wanted to know about things. Oh how I would love to ask him questions about the afterlife. He must know that I’m aching to talk to him again and ask him questions. I remember my dad and I had conversations about life after death when I was a kid and even just a little bit lately as an adult. My dad didnt know what to expect but he did believe in Jesus. He just never wanted to be preached at. He even went to school for one year as a freshmen in high school to study to be a priest or something like that. When he learned they had to be celebate and not marry he said to hell with that I’m changing course! LoL I remember him telling that story during his final hospital stay to one of the nurses there! Yes right up to the end, literally, he had his humor.

I can’t wait to be with you again dad. I know you can hear me and somehow read what I’m typing here but maybe can’t talk to me the way you use to. I’m going to keep talking to you anyway Dad. On this trip I’m going to be talking to you a lot and asking you a lot of questions. I know you can’t answer me back anymore. But I’m still going to listen and ask anyway. And here come the tears again streaming down my face. Second time I’ve cried on an airplane and it’s on the same flight. I’m flying out to las Vegas Dad. My first time Since you passed on. I love this place because of you and Mom.

Dad on past trips when I’d share stuff on facebook of the cool stuff I was doing you clicked LIKE on some of them and commented. Anytime I saw a LIKE from you or a comment I would light up. If a friend was near me I’d tell my friend, ” Oh cool my dad see’s what I’m doing!! “. This trip I won’t get to see you like and comment on things I share. I know you’re liking loving and commenting in a different way now that I don’t know how to see. I wish I did know how to see in that way, but I don’t. I’m not one to belive anything could be a “sign”. So many things could be connected to you just from using a little bit of imagination and in reality is not you giving me a sign at all. But, I’m open. My openness is balanced by evidence and evidence is balanced by being open. Pragmatic just like you did except you were much more intellectual than me. That’s why I always had so many questions for you!!! LoL

Dammit I miss you Dad. You were my super hero Dad and you always will be.

My biological parents Adopted me out instead of Aborting me and you and mom were there to adopt me and give me a great life. I call you Dad and Mom. My bio parents are Lou Anne and Jim. All GREAT people. This adoption thing turned out really well for ALL of us, didn’t it Dad?

Dad, you and mom are the reason I even found my bio parents when I was 35. Mom nagged and you are the one who came up with the perfectly worded letter to the adoption agent after a discovery you made in the paper work that opened it all up so we could all be reunited 35 years later after my birth. Damn that’s amazing.

My last physical works to you on earth dad on the morning of the day you passed on were, “I’ll see you again shortly, ok”? Thinking I’d physically see you again later that day. Dad, I meant it. A life span is not even a stitch in time compared to eternity so I WILL “see” you again shortly. I just have no idea what “seeing” will be like when it’s no longer physical.

In the meantime I promise to enjoy life here on earth. You want that. So its the best I can think of to honor you and everything you did here on earth during your physial life span. I cannot promise that I won’t miss you and be sad about that. That’s pretty much unavoidable. Writing ridiculous long letters like this for the world to see helps..ha.

See you again shortly Dad, Ok?


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