Charlotte’s "Papi"

For the longest time, Ilene has been encouraging (better, nagging) me, Charlotte’s Dad, to make a contribution to the blog. Tonight is the night!

Why? And why start that contribution with a picture of a couple of old folk and a dog? (Note: the dog has no relationship to the old folk – he just happened to be there when the picture was taken)

Well, the old folk in question are Charlotte’s “Mami” and “Papi”, a Papi she will never get to know… This morning, around 4 am GMT, 10 PM CST, Charlotte’s Dad received the dreaded call… Papi had been taken from this earth by a sudden, massive coronary…

The irony of this is that my parents, Charlotte’s Belgian grand-parents are the most heart-healthy people I have ever known: long daily bike rides, low fat diet, and the works. As ironies go… Charlotte was planning a visit in May to celebrate Papi’s 80th birthday, Mami & Papi’s 50th wedding anniversary, together with her first birthday (both are stuborn Tauruses… go figure :-))…

Finally, another thought crossed my mind: Charlotte will not get to know either of her grandfathers (“Papa” Goldman passed away immediately after Ilene & Phil got married). The curse of having kids later in life… But we will, per Terry’s good vibes coming my direction just a couple of hours earlier, collect and tell their stories, so Charlotte will grow up aspiring to their greatness, while understaning their weaknesses.

I will be heading out to Belgium later today to join my Mam and my Sister to grieve the loss of my Dad in Leuven, our hometown. Neither Charlotte, nor Ilene, Charlottes Mam, will be able to join me, as to this date Charlotte’s medical complexity make it impractical for “my girls” to join me on this trip and provide me with the moral support and the perspective I so dearly need in these trying times.

Aah… “The Circle of Life”… well, from where I am sitting right now… It sucks!!

PS: With many thanks to Continential Airlines for allowing me to get to Brussels ASAP & to Jean-Pierre and Beatrice Leonet, dear friends of my parents, who took this wonderful picture of Mami and Papi during their last trip together… to Venice.

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