So, while I was preparing to post a smattering of images from my trip to Puerto Rico, which is just an amazingly beautiful place, even at this time of year, I got a call that meant leaving immediately despite only being here for 3 out of 9 scheduled days. My father, George Budabin, was diagnosed with lung cancer some months ago. I will go into more of those details in my next post more than likely, but suffice to day, things aren’t looking good. I am sitting here in the airport getting ready to board a red-eye flight into NYC’s JFK airport so that I can be by his side as soon as humanly possible. I just got off the phone with his, and as he lay in his hospital bed, too weak to even hold the phone to his ear on his own, he had just three things to say to me before he was too tired to continue. Mark my words, I will never forget them:
1) I am proud of the man you have become, and the man I know you will be.
2) Thank you for loving me, and for allowing me to love you.
3) Thank you for Alijah.
Of course, I had more than a few things to say back to him - but it is impossible to fit what would take you hours to say into a 20-second increment of time. There is just no way I can tell this man - my father - what he means to me, and how infinitely grateful I am for all the ways that he has fought, sacrificed, loved, and guided me to make me who I am today. I just can’t.
Update: My father, George Budabin, passed away on Tuesday, December 19, 2006.
As I sit here today, thinking about the people who lost their lives in New York City five years ago this morning, I can’t help but think back to the fateful day that changed the way that Americans think of the numbers 9-11.
On September 11, 2001 I was getting ready to leave a coworkers house to head home. He got a call from his mother, telling him that one of the Towers was gone. On my end, all I heard him say was things like “No way…are you serious? You are just kidding right?” When he put on CNN, I was completely shocked and taken aback. I continued to get ready to leave, wondering what the hell was going on. Minutes later, the second Tower collapsed to the ground.
It was the start, the sad, cold start of a whole new way of living for the entire world.
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