Browsing articles from "March, 2016"

Just Days Before Her Father Died, She Told Him What He Meant To Her

Mar 25, 2016   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Just Days Before Her Father Died, She Told Him What He Meant To Her

Earlier this year, when her father was in the final stages of lung and liver cancer, Eva Vega-Olds spoke to him for the final time. Leonardo Vega, 73, had been in hospice care at his home in New Jersey, so weak that he could barely muster the strength to answer his daughter’s questions.

But still, Eva asked them — and took the opportunity to tell her father what he meant to her. And she recorded the conversation for StoryCorps, using her smartphone.

“When I was recording my dad, I was in his bedroom that he shared with my mom,” Eva Vega-Olds recalls, during another session with StoryCorps several months later. “There was the hospital bed in there, he had an oxygen machine, and he was struggling to breath.”

Before they began, she asked him whether he still wanted to do the interview. “Let her rip,” her father answered.

Eva Vega-Olds on her wedding day in May 2009 with her father, Leonardo Vega. As he walked her down the aisle, he cracked a joke in their family's characteristic sarcasm, telling her: It's my day. I finally get rid of you.i

Eva Vega-Olds on her wedding day in May 2009 with her father, Leonardo Vega. As he walked her down the aisle, he cracked a joke in their family’s characteristic sarcasm, telling her: “It’s my day. I finally get rid of you.”

Courtesy of Eva Vega-Olds


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Courtesy of Eva Vega-Olds

Eva Vega-Olds on her wedding day in May 2009 with her father, Leonardo Vega. As he walked her down the aisle, he cracked a joke in their family's characteristic sarcasm, telling her: It's my day. I finally get rid of you.

Eva Vega-Olds on her wedding day in May 2009 with her father, Leonardo Vega. As he walked her down the aisle, he cracked a joke in their family’s characteristic sarcasm, telling her: “It’s my day. I finally get rid of you.”

Courtesy of Eva Vega-Olds

His end of their conversation consisted of not much more than monosyllables. Where was he born? “Puerto Rico.” How long had he lived in New Jersey? “Sixty-five years. I’ve been here all my life.”

The former factory worker long worked the graveyard shift, leaving for work just as Eva returned home from school, then turned to work as a custodian later. As Eva recalls, his life was defined by the work he did to support his family.

Though Leonardo said he didn’t know how he’d like to be remembered, his daughter, at the time, told him she knew precisely what she’d tell her own children: “You were really loyal, a committed father, funny.”

She remembers that humor well.

“My family’s the kind of family that if you can’t take sarcasm, forget about it,” Eva relates, during the later StoryCorps conversation. “Like my wedding day, I remember walking down the aisle, and my dad was walking super slow. And I’m like, ‘Dad!’ And he says to me, ‘Shhh, it’s my day. I finally get rid of you.’ “

When he returned from the hospital to find hospices nurses awaiting him at his home, Eva says he turned to her and said, “I think they think I’m gonna die.”

And while he continued to get weaker as he approached the end of his life, Eva says that she and her father had not spoken in depth about the prospect of his dying — until the conversation she recorded for StoryCorps.

“Do you think you’re dying?” she asked him.

“Everybody dies,” he replied.

“Are you afraid?”

“No.”

“I wish it wasn’t happening right now,” she told him. “What are you most proud of, Daddy?”

“My kids.”

“Your kids?”

“My family.”

She did the interview with her father on a Tuesday afternoon. He died on Thursday night, that same week — on Jan. 29.

“My dad’s a working-class fellow. He bought a home, paid off his home and was able to die in his home, with his family around him,” Eva Vega-Olds remembers, in the session two months later.

“For him, that was the pinnacle of what your life should be. And I think that he did achieve his dreams.”

Audio produced for Morning Edition by Jud Esty-Kendall.

StoryCorps is a national nonprofit that gives people the chance to interview friends and loved ones about their lives. These conversations are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, allowing participants to leave a legacy for future generations. Learn more, including how to interview someone in your life, at StoryCorps.org.

Residents Flock To Trail In Pittsburgh To Watch Nesting Eagles

Mar 25, 2016   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Residents Flock To Trail In Pittsburgh To Watch Nesting Eagles

Residents of Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., have taken a special interest in eagle cams this month. Eaglets have hatched in nests in both cities. Outside Pittsburgh, the nest is drawing a crowd.

‘Batman V Superman"s Female Producer Working To Get More Women Behind Camera

Mar 25, 2016   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on ‘Batman V Superman"s Female Producer Working To Get More Women Behind Camera

The new superhero movie, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, opens Friday . Producer Deborah Snyder is in it for the long haul with Warner Brothers and DC Comics, working on Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, The Justice League, The Flash and Aquaman, as well.

Tourists May Be Unable To Resist Urge To Stop At South Pacific Village

Mar 25, 2016   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Tourists May Be Unable To Resist Urge To Stop At South Pacific Village

Tourists buses just drive on by Paunangisu, an island village in the South Pacific. But the village hopes its new, “Best public toilet in the South Pacific,” will make it a place people have to go.

France Proposes New Health Privacy Rules For Pilots

Mar 24, 2016   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on France Proposes New Health Privacy Rules For Pilots

One year after the fatal Germanwings crash, French investigators released recommendations on how to avoid these incidents. Among the recommendations are clearer guidelines to patient-doctor confidentiality and flexibility for pilots suffering from mental illness.

GOP Focuses On Pennsylvania Where Delegate Rules Can Confuse

Mar 24, 2016   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on GOP Focuses On Pennsylvania Where Delegate Rules Can Confuse

It’s not just about winning states — winning a presidential nomination includes mastering complex rules about delegates. Pennsylvania’s rules are among the most complicated.

Restaurant To Patron: No Snakes Allowed. Really.

Mar 24, 2016   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Restaurant To Patron: No Snakes Allowed. Really.

A customer angry over being asked to leave an L.A. restaurant because of his pet snake, left, but returned. With a bigger snake. He let the 13-ft-long python loose in the restaurant and was arrested.

Hunt Or Be Hunted: The Walking Dead Experience

Mar 24, 2016   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Hunt Or Be Hunted: The Walking Dead Experience

The production company for The Walking Dead assembled sets in tractor trailers, which are currently in Salt Lake City. For $60, you can fend off zombies or be made up as a blood-covered walker.

Some Arizona Voters Faced Long Lines To Cast Their Ballots

Mar 23, 2016   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Some Arizona Voters Faced Long Lines To Cast Their Ballots

Some voters in Arizona reportedly waited more than four hours to cast their ballot on Tuesday. The lines were expected in at least one county, as polling places had been cut to save money.

Are Belgian Attacks The Result Of Intelligence Failures?

Mar 23, 2016   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Are Belgian Attacks The Result Of Intelligence Failures?

Juan Zarate, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, talks about intelligence failures in the run-up to Tuesday’s attacks in Brussels. Zarate served as deputy national security advisor from 2005 to 2009.

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