Monday, July 28, 2003

All is well that Ends well

It's over, peacefully, bloodless and as far as I can tell, without any change. The rebels were sent back to their barracks. I can only hope that someone was disciplined but here it seems it's one extreme or the other and in this case I'm guessing nothing happened. They stood down, and that was the primary goal.

American citizens had been encouraged to evacuate the neighborhoods directly around the Ayala Center. The Embassy provided hotel rooms to all those interested. We were not part of that system, thankfully, as we have a major road between our neighborhood and the business district.
What did we do? We stayed home, made chocolate chip cookies, built a pillow/couch/table fort in the living room and figured God would forgive us for missing Mass. We didn't explain what was going on to the kids. Too close to home, and it did not interfere with our lives directly. If the standoff had continued, we had been in jeopardy, the building exploded, people died or the worst, we couldn't go to summer camp on Monday (perhaps something else that directly affected them), we would have given an abbreviated version of the news. But as it was, it ended without them needing to know anything.
Ian was called in to work on the task force at the Embassy and write a cable to Washington, then was sent to Makati to be an official American set of eyes on the situation. The roles switched between people every few hours so he wouldn't be working all night, just until 6 or 7.
While sitting in his bullet proof van, he was at the right spot to inform some new Japanese arrivals heading to check-in at the hotel that it really wasn't a good time. Once he filled them in on what was happening, Ian escorted them to find another cab and payed the driver a day's wages to take the Japanese business to a hotel on the other side of the city. All in a day's work around here.
Yesterday when our housekeeper arrived, one of the first things she said was "This was your first time, huh?" Doesn't that speak volumes?
In other news about things ending well, my dad is out of surgery. It only lasted a couple hours and he was in the recovery room and actually got up on his own. He had a disk removed in his back and replaced with a portion of his hip. Who came up with -that- idea? Sounds horrendous, but if all is well, he could be home tomorrow, off his feet the rest of the week, in a brace for 3 weeks and then almost all normal. In fact better than normal since this was to relieve a lot pain he's been having the past few years.
It's a serious drawback to our lifestyle when too much happens all at once. My parents really had a hard time, especially my mom. On one side she was hoping and praying my dad didn't die in the hospital (irrational? Possibly, but that's completely irrelevant). On the other, she was hoping and praying we didn't die 8000 miles away, or at all for that matter (irrational? Possibly, but that's completely irrelevant). I wanted to be home so that she wouldn't have to sit in the hospital all alone, and to be there for my dad. The kids are worried about grandpa but they made him cards which they hope will make him feel better. We wanted to make it very clear how much we love him.
My dad is someone who most people would call passionate. I don't feel that term adequately describes him. Passion suggests a single focus, something that draws you in and when the project is done it is a work of art, something to behold, something you realize and hold dear. Above all, I feel that passion suggests an inward acknowledgment of talent and pride and a power over your chosen medium.
My father is all that, but in everything he does. Everything he touches becomes his own. He does nothing half way. He reminds me of Midas where a touch of his finger transforms a potentially plain basic subject into a treasure. Only with my dad, he gives his soul to his music, his work, his family, his life. He touches so many people and transforms so much into gold. And most of the time, doesn't even know it.

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