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My Pop, a few months before his death...

Pop, a few months before his death...

Four years ago today, I lost my Pop. I guess I’m getting better at handling this particular date as each year passes. And this year, I even wondered if any prevailing thought or theme would enter my head enough to make me want to write about it. Yet again, here I am doing just that. And the prevailing theme for this year’s go-round, is that painful thing we can only call regret.

On this particular year’s anniversary of Pop’s death, we were anchored off of Kuanidup, a pretty serene pair of islands in Central San Blas. We were on the last night of a sail with a super cool German/Colombian couple and their young daughter. The stars were out in an amazingly spectacular array. The moon hadn’t risen yet. Andiamo was shielded from the brisk winds on the island’s lee side, so the anchorage was tranquil and calm. The air was cool and crisp. I was just lying on deck, taking a break after dinner, when I realized. As I have recently mentioned on a post regarding my mom’s death, these milestone days don’t always register with me on a conscious level anymore. Still not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

Aside from plain missing my dad, I just felt an enormous amount of regret this time around. I regretted that I never got the chance to show him this downright amazing place where we were anchored on this very night. Why didn’t I? Why did I wait??? I found myself wishing I had started this whole Andiamo venture just a couple of years sooner. So maybe, just maybe, I could have really gotten him down here before he left us. Yeah, hindsight is 20-20, and that should help ease the pain, but it doesn’t. And in my by now rather mature experience in grieving, I find regrets on this level are still the hardest things to deal with.

I know I’m hardly qualified, but if I can render any advice to anyone out there who doesn’t want to deal with this regret stuff like I am now, it’s this. Don’t put off doing things and sharing those potentially incredible experiences with the people you care about the most NOW.

Don’t wait. Not if you can at all help it.


  1. Barbara says:

    Hey Tony – I can’t believe it has been 4 years since your Pop passed away.

    I hope as time passes you will move away from regret and relive the happy memories that you have of him. I really believe that our loved ones live on in those special memories.

    My dad was just diagnosed with stage 3 bladder cancer at Thanksgiving. He’s had a few bumps the last couple of months with some kidney complications. He is in the hospital tonight and with any luck he will have surgery this week or next to remove the cancer. It’s really scary to see your parent, who by the way has ALWAYS been active & healthy, in pain.

    Think good thoughts for us!

    Emma & I are otherwise doing great! She really reminds me on a daily basis what is really important in life!

    Catch up with soon. Love ya! Barbara

  2. Ian Carney says:

    hey tony,
    sound advice,that im sure everyone can appreciate,what are we here for if not to help each other?
    take care,ian