Thank you taking a moment to visit this special page.
It's ironic the things we take for granted in life - the little stuff
like the fact that if you run out of milk, there's probably a 24-hour
convenience store nearby. But I have since learned there is one thing
in life I we should never take for granted: the people who
touch our lives - because one day they won't be here to tell them how much
we miss them, and how much we loved them. On the afternoon of Monday
January 21, 2002, my sister phoned for me in Vermont. I was going
about my routine of cleaning rooms at the Inn after a busy holiday weekend.
The call forever changed my life. My father had suffered a severe
stroke and was rushed to the emergency room at Community Memorial Hospital
in Toms River. Though I wanted to leave that very day from Vermont, my
sister, and mother, and partner all agreed I should rest for the night and
drive down during the day on Tuesday. As I traveled to New Jersey, a
whirlwind of thoughts raced through my head, enough so that I missed my turn
off from the interstate, adding an unnecessary hour to my drive.
Until late October of 2001, Dad's health was good and he remained active
with their antique business and substitute teaching at the school. In early
December, my Mom and Dad traveled to see us in Vermont for several days of visiting and
antiquing, which they loved to do. It was there third visit to the Inn
in about a years time. Dad remarked again on how much he enjoyed coming to
visit and staying at the old Inn. But by Christmas, Dad had already gone under the assault
of several medical tests to determine exactly what was wrong. Still the doctors had
no specific results. In the wee hours of the morning on December 26, my Mom drove my
Dad to the doctor for another series of tests. A week later, they had their first
prognosis: secondary Cancer in the liver. The next few days were a whirlwind of
phone calls to area cancer treatment centers. On Monday January 28, 2002, Dad was
scheduled for a visit at the Robert Wood Johnson Clinic in Northern New Jersey.
Unfortunately, that appointment would be one week too late. The initial prognosis at the hospital was grim. In a matter of
days, he suffered a second stroke that left him in a "light coma" as the doctors
would describe it. The 11 days and nights that followed were agonizing. While
still coming to grips with the facts at hand, we were faced with the monumental task of
determining Dad's "living will". As the days stretched into a week and
hope (on the part of the medical community) was rapidly fading, we wrestled with the
decisions we could soon be faced with. Knowing our Dad as well as we did, we were
certain that he would want something "in lieu of flowers", should we reach that
point. We could think of no better way to memorialize his life, then to help support
one of the things he was such a believer in - education.
My Dad was a wealth of information and history. Though his
television viewing was limited almost exclusively to news, he had a few favorite programs
including Nightline, CNN, and Who Wants to be a Millionaire. I don't think he ever
watched Regis Philbin on his morning show, but when the nightly game show aired, my father
watched - and answered correctly more questions then any of us could. Although he
may have asked the audience on questions relating to N'SYNC's latest hit, questions that
tripped up the average contestant such as those relating to history, news, politics and
world events were a snap for my Dad. So it was decided that something relating to
education and knowledge be developed, in his honor.
A scholarship fund was established through the Board of Education
office at Central Regional High School in February 2002 and continued for 5
years. The fund was supported
entirely through donations. High School students seeking to enter college in
the field of Journalism, Communication, Education or History were
encouraged to apply for the
scholarship. It was a generous way to support those students in memory
of my Dad.
With Love Always,
Your Son, Chris