Life sure is peculiar and likes to throw us curve balls. Karen and Tony’s March 2016 charter started with such a pitch. Just before we shoved off, I got a call from Uncle Marvin. My 89 year old Dad (Franklin Bernard Goodman) fell down—he had been suffering from “dropsey”—hit his head, developed a big brain bleed, went into a coma with no chance of survival. With his living will/advanced directive in place, we pulled the plug and put him in hospice. Reacting to this news, I informed Karen and Tony that I needed to immediately fly to Florida to do the “death watch.” Their options were 1) cancel their charter for a full refund or 2) rebook for another time (and I would cover any expense they incurred with airfare, etc to make sure they did not financially suffer) or 3) find another captain/crew to take them sailing on another charter boat. They were very understanding but also extremely disappointed as they had planned this trip for many months, they had made special arrangements for their kids, and really wanted to badly still go. As I got over my initial shock of my father’s imminent passing, it occurred to me that there was nothing I could do for him in Florida during a “death watch” other than be there for my sister Helene. So I called Helene, explained the situation, and we talked about it. My Dad, lover of life, would have wanted me to continue to live my life and fulfill my obligations. If he could have spoken, I figured he would have said: “David my boy…do the charter. Don’t worry about me. I’m dying, but there’s nothing you can do about it, I’ve lived a great life, and I’m fine!!! So go and have a good time!!” So thats what I did. And couldn’t have had a better time in celebrating my father’s life with Admiral Bobbie Rae and our guests Karen and Tony. And we climbed the mountain! Mountains!! Once to the top of Jost Van Dyke. And over the top of the ridge on the Johnny Horn Trail on Leinster Bay to Coral Bay on St. John. And all points in between. The pictures tell the tale, and it will be a charter I will keep memories of forever. Dad passed away peacefully March 29 on his 90th birthday. Thank You Karen and Tony and especially Admiral Bobbie Rae for honoring my Dad’s life and passing.
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