Dave Mandigo

My father died suddenly yesterday of a massive stroke. I don’t really know how to feel right now1. Saying that he taught me a lot or anything at all seems absurdly trite. So much of me comes directly from him. Most of it good. Some perhaps less so. He was human and taught me to be human, as well. I’m often struck by that when I hear myself talk or look at myself in the mirror. What do you say about someone who was directly responsible for your existence and played such a vital role during the first few years of my life?

I last spoke with him on Christmas Day. He told me about the progress he was making on his shop and speculating on getting into the wild mushroom business. He was always adventurous, inquisitive and appreciative of the things that this universe has to offer. These are traits that he shared with me and I hope I’ve been able to share those traits with my kids.

He was a good man. As I understand it, he was at my uncle’s house looking for ways to help since my uncle is (or was) due for surgery today. He fell to the ground while there, was taken to the hospital by ambulance, never regained consciousness as far as I know and died later that evening. He died doing a good thing. If that’s his last lesson for me then I’ll forever be grateful.

There are, of course, many more things to say but I can’t right now. Maybe later.

I love you, Dad. You will be very much missed and you’ll always be with me.

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Sad News

My dad just called and said that he had some sad news. I assumed that he was setting me up for one of my older relatives having passed away. What he told me took me off guard and was shocking. My cousin Loren, who’s younger than me passed away while he was in Africa. I don’t know all the details, but apparently he was in some southern African country doing some sort of missionary work. He’s been there about a year. During that time he contracted malaria. He may not have been diligent about getting it treated. It or something else caught up with him. His wife and two daughters are still there. Two of them have pneumonia. Things are clearly not well right now.

I’m still processing. It’s been many years since I’ve had any meaningful contact with him, but I did spend a lot of time with him in my younger years. He was definitely a part and influence on my life. This is the second cousin that I’ve lost. Life is fragile and precious. Make the most of it because you never know how much you actually have.

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Passing Through the Bay Area

I’m spending today with my daughter, Loni and her friend Amy at Loni and Sam’s new home in San Mateo, CA. It’s a big move for them and there are boxes all over their new house. I suspect a portion of the day will be devoted to unpacking.

It’ll be fun to have family in the Bay Area. I’m guessing that this will change the shape of the visits that I make down here periodically. I’m really excited for them. If you’ve got to live in a city this isn’t a bad choice.

Life continues to be an adventure.

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