Wednesday, December 22, 2010

parents, children, and traveling days

earlier this year when i began this blog, i kept it to myself the first couple of months and didn't make it public. i wasn't sure what i wanted to share or didn't want to share. finally i got up the courage to open it up to other people. 

one of my first posts was about this photo. that's my dad, the handsome guy at the far right, standing with his buddies next to the temple of olympian zeus in athens. the date was 1946, just after the war and just before he met my mom in germany, where they were married. i love this photograph because it was taken of my dad, obviously, but also because it was taken in a place i love....... and for me embodies the joys of travel: greece. 

at the moment this photo was taken my dad's entire adult life lay in front of him; he would get married, have four children, continue to serve in the military and move all over the world, leave the military for the private sector, eventually to run a corporation, then quit that to go to law school. all that moving around led to a thirst for travel that has yet to be satisfied. dad is ever the learner, ever the wanderer, always eager for the next experience. 

on my recent trip to california i visited my dad. he had just made the decision to move to an assisted living facility and my siblings had gathered to discuss how to help him adjust to this next phase of his life. somehow we thought - now that he was confined to a wheelchair - that we might be able to help make some decisions on his behalf and more to the point, we assumed that his traveling days were over.


we couldn't have been more wrong. 

my dad has always been in charge of his life and - while he appreciates our desire to help him - doesn't plan to change anytime soon: he's moved three times this year and will move again next week. so even if his traveling now is from one assisted living facility to the next, dad says he plans to stay on the road: he wants to see what's around the corner, he wants to keep opening doors to new experiences and our job is to update our address books so we know where to visit him next. he's had one hell of a life ---- and he plans to continue to live it, his way. 


i just wanted to dedicate this post to all our parents, in whatever stage of life they find themselves, and wish them love, the best of health, to be surrounded by family - and if it is their wish - to keep traveling. 

i love you dad.


happy holidays and bountiful wishes to all for a healthy, prosperous and joyous new year♡♡

30 comments:

  1. I admire your dad as I admire all those that grow old physically ( no one can do much about that) but not mentally. I think that as long as our mind's are active we will continue to travel and learn and wander and dream. Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas.

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  2. Your Dad still looks sharp. Good for him to still be in charge of his life. All those life experiences make us stronger.....

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  3. He wants a full life and that's what he neeeds to have. Bless you all. Enjoy the holidays.

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  4. First of all, I'm so glad you DID make this blog public. I'm constantly amazed by your adventures and beautiful photos.

    After reading about your dad, I see where you get your adventurous spirit. It's nice to hear that he isn't just sitting there allowing himself to age. He's still an adventurer at heart, and that's such a blessing.

    I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday!

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  5. I often wonder what the people in photos must be thinking and what places them there at that moment in time.I have to tell you,that it was such a honor for me to hear the story of your Dad in that photo..a true inspiration for us all.We are what we do and dont do..you and your Dad inspire me to just Do.Thank you.Blessings Sweet Amanda!Cat

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  6. What an amazing story of your dad. And still going!

    Merry Christmas to all your clan, Amanda!

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  7. good one sister! it feels very grounding and freeing to go down "memory's lane" and get those photos out of their boxes like butterflies let loose into the meadow.

    little vignettes of love...xoxo

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  8. More power to your Dad's wheels and I hope you receive a large address book for Christmas Amanda ;)

    Sending you a Merry Christmas greeting from Paris*!*

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  9. Go Dad you good man!!!
    I love his wanderlust.

    Happy Festive Season to you too

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  10. your dad sounds like a hot ticket! good for him, and all the luck in the world to him at the new place.

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  11. Incredible life stoty!
    Merry Christmas to you and your Familily!

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  12. Amanda,
    You told such an emotional story of love and the courage and strength of a man. It was both funny and exciting to hear that your dad has to travel from assisted living to assisted living because of his never ending sense of adventure in life. Thanks for sharing and send him all the best from me. Good luck with your memoir and lets keep in touch. Merry Christmas. Sonia.x.

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  13. How lovely to share these photos. Your Dad is an inspiration to us all :) wishing a happy Christmas holiday to you all and a fantastic 2011 xxV

    word veri - Aftica ....nearly

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  14. A beautiful tribute to your dad's wanderlust and restless spirit. Thanks for sharing his inspiring example. Very, very happy holidays to you and yours, Amanda.

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  15. What a beautiful tribute to your father! And he look so GOOD. I applaud him. I, too, want to keep "traveling," in whatever way I can, right to the end!

    Thank you for wishing me and Jen a happy holiday. We wish the same for you!!!

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  16. amanda, gulp. your reaction to my post is my reaction to this post: some sadness, abundant love.

    your Dad is so handsome in that photo. thinking of his life ahead of him at that time gives me the tinges of sadness and joy. he has no doubt given you wanderlust, how precious :)

    happy happy holidays my friend. in 2011 i will be here more often, a gift to myself


    kj

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  17. Dear Amanda,
    Thank you for the lovely comment you left on my Jane Austen post.
    Lots of complicated feelings reading this post . . .as my dad, who is also a lawyer, is retiring this month because he is starting to be affected by dementia. I AM glad, though, that your father is still tackling life with determination and gusto. May we all keep our horizons broad for as long as possible! Best holiday wishes. Bee x

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  18. I really enjoyed this. I hope you're having a nice holiday season. :)

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  19. A very intimate article, I congratulate you for your happiness ! ... and of course a very happy new year 2011 to you and to all those you love ! :)

    Bye**

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  20. How wonderful, I wish him well. Happy New Year to you all.

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  21. Wishing to you and your lovely family a Happy New Year, with health and love.

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  22. Yes, it's me, your "slow to post" twin! It really is uncanny (or perhaps in a Fowles-ian way not) the similiarities in our lives. When I saw the photo of your Father, tears welled up. You see, my Father was also a WWII Vet. He was a bomber pilot and fought in Africa and Italy. (I don't recall his telling me he made it to Greece...) I lost him in 1995....and miss him (amd my Mum) so much. I adore your Father's strength and will to keep experiencing adventures in Life!
    My Father, after the war and moving to SF, was content to spend most of his time here....but, my Mum, (the flight attendant) made up for it....and I always knew I inherited my love of travel from both of them! And....you too!

    A lovely post - you have such a lovely family!!! I always feel happy when I come away from reading your latest chapter!

    Happy New Year to YOU and yours!
    May 2011 bring you all health, joy and many more wonderful adventures!

    Love,

    ♥ Robin ♥

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  23. loree - i completely agree - as long as our minds are active we can continue to travel and learn, wander and dream.

    amen to that my friend♡

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    mermaid - thanks for visiting -- and yes, those life experiences, if they don't break us - make us stronger ;-)

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    rosaria - a full life he has now, and has had always. thank god for that!

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    julie - many thanks for this kind comment and for your support, always---

    xx

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  24. cat - oh your comment hit me straight on.....we are what we do and what we don't do. plan to remember that as 2011 dawns upon us........

    many thanks my friend, and happiest of new years to you♡

    xx

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    r-bear - thank you♡ and big bear hug wishes to you and yours in 2011

    xxx

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    thank you sister.......you are as familiar with this journey as i......so glad we are traveling it together. love and many hugs

    xxx

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    annie - paris!!!! i am expecting wonderful fotos to come and maybe a few shots of avian life a la francais!!!

    meilleur voeux for a nouvelle annee fantastique mon amie!!!

    xxx

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  25. janet - thank you my friend -- go dad go indeed!! we plan to be busy chasing him to his new digs in 2011!

    xx

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    mim - many thanks -- and i'm sure he will love reading your comment about him being a hot ticket!! ;-) xx

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    ola - happiest of new years wishes to you as well!!

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    sonia - dad will continue to travel in whatever form he is able ----- let the journey continue~

    happy new year to you sonia, and i look forward to being in touch in the next few weeks to swap memoir stories ;-)

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  26. thanks dear val - my dad is a pretty humble guy but i'm sure he'd be happy to know he is an inspiration to those who read my blog♡

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    lorenzo - thank you♡ wishes to you for a blessed and magic-filled New Year.....

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    ann - my dad will love to hear you think he looks good -- we think he does too!! at 87 that's an accomplishment in itself!

    xx

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    kj - thank you for these kind words. you always put such emotion into your thoughts, and they always leave me with a sense of love and comfort. i appreciate your compliment to my dad - if he reads this, he will be tickled pink ;-)

    love and best of everything to you in the New Year.

    xxx

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  27. bee - i am so sorry to hear about your dad......seeing one's parents age and decline in health is such a struggle. i wish him - and you - the best as he faces retirement and the road ahead. may it be filled with love, laughter and many beautiful memories to share.

    thanks for visiting - i am so happy for this opportunity to get to know you, a new friend in 2011......all best wishes.

    Amandax

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    fireblossom - thanks for dropping by!

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    cheryl - many thanks - wishing you the loveliest of holidays and chronia polla to you all!!

    xx

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    mahon - merci beaucoup to le chat rouge!! xx

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  28. glynis - chronia polla and happy new year to you in bella cyprus!!

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    phivos - chronia polla -- and happy new year wishes to you as well - a fellow cypriot (as is glynis)!!! xx

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    robin - oh wow -- your dad was a bomber pilot in wwII? my dad flew in the berlin airlift, having come in late in the war in 1945 after his graduation from West Point. i imagine your dad saw a lot of action in his postings in africa and italy.......with so many stories to tell, no doubt. I am so sorry both of your parents are gone, dear robin......you undoubtedly inherited their passion for life and that certain wanderlust that makes you a citizen of the world ;-)

    sending love and many hugs your way dear twin --- ring in the new year with gusto and may it bring loads of love, prosperity and magic your way.....

    xxx

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  29. hi Amanda u have written so well. i really love your blog.

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