The week of Thanksgiving I shared with our readers, my trauma - I would never have dreamt that I would have spent the Thanksgiving Weekend and Troy Week outside of the confines of sunny Southern California. As life would have it, my father died of congestive heart failure two days after Thanksgiving.
Since that fateful day, I have been in Hilo, Hawaii attending to family matters and living through the grieving process.
And through it all one thing shines brightly: I love the University of Southern California, USC Football, the Trojan Family and last but not least, my birth family.
For the better part of two weeks, my immediate family grieved for the tragic loss of my father, the saint whom instilled in me the pleasure of sports. And throughout my life I have been a sports fanatic. This later morphed into becoming a USC fanatic. And I love every moment of it.
A Few Words About Dad
My father gave mom 62 years of marriage. He also fathered six children and taught all of us the value of education and the enjoyment of sports. Dad shaped each of his six children and taught us the value of hard work and social interaction.
He was a saint and my only regret is not being closer to him while I was working in Los Angeles in the latter part of his life.
A Ton of Bricks
All of this has felt like a ton of bricks on my shoulders and I look forward to moving on. Anyone whom has lost a loved one will understand the feeling. I am also the baby boy and only son who now is in the position of being the man of the family. This is possibly the hardest transition in my life. I look forward to passing through this stage of my life.
We had a great memorial service and gravesite ceremony – dad was a World War II veteran and we had an Army Color Guard and Flag ceremony at the gravesite. Most impressive was the playing of "Taps" by a bugler at the ceremony.
The night previous, we had a memorial service, which included comments and music sharing by family and friends, a time where we both grieved and celebrated the life he shared with us.
Our family will move on, and as I learned, although his physical body is gone, his spirit lives on through his children, friends and family. His spirit is alive in each of our experiences and memories. Yes, I miss him, but we had a special gift being raised by such a special man.
The Two Journeys Home
In the next few days I will have completed two very important journeys. The first was the journey to Hilo, where we grieved and celebrated the life of a great man. I am the lucky recipient of a wonderful and large family whom supported each other through the trauma. It is difficult, it is sad, it is emotionally draining, but it was also cleansing and refreshing to celebrate the passing of this great human being.
The second journey will be the one that takes me back to my second home and my second family. USC and the Trojan Family. USC and USC Football pleasure me to no end.
I look forward to returning to my second home in Los Angeles, surrounded by great Trojans. In a couple of days, my life will return to normal, in North University Park and a life that revolves around USC Football.
Thankfully it will be good to be back home with the Trojan Family.