As the story has it, I woke up and found myself on the very opposite side of the globe – the flipside. I arrived February 16th, 2005 and thought I’d simply do a year, then leave. Years later and I’m still here. I went from being some random foreign girl to taking on labels I never imagined – university professor, film extra, professional boxer, CEO of my own girls-only fitness company, Flipside Fitness, and CEO of my own boxing club, Korea's largest -- Hulk's Club, formerly known as Hulk's Boxing.

After 11.5yrs in Korea, I picked up one day and left. I returned to Toronto, Canada but only to pack up my bags and venture out again. Now I'm living in Makate, Philippines. Life, for me, is better in Asia and I'm so happy here. This a new chapter in the book of my life though, it's a whole new book I've started!!! I'm a whole new woman and I left Korea with Flipside Fitness on my brain, Hulk's in my heart, boxing in my bag, and my four-legged friend Balboa Button by my side.

Life is an adventure and this is my story of yesterday.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Celebration of Life... Tuesday, April 18

Attended a wake out of town.  Definitely not an event I was expecting when I signed up to "just visit" the Philippines.  The wake was held at quite a prestige chapel set on a gorgeous cemetery where elaborate tombs lined the property; tombs like I've never ever seen in my life!!!  They were like mini one room houses.  Some had rooftop patios but the one that caught my attention was an all-white tomb that had large glass windows and a chandelier shining for all to see.

Attending another family event meant meeting another zillion billion people, or so it always feels like.  It's hard to keep track of all their names, they know that, but I'm very familiar with the faces of many so I greet them with kisses to their cheeks and smiles. 

The wake I was attending was that of an aunt and uncle's father.  

The chapel filled up with family and I noticed that the service still hadn't started; it was an hour late.  I left the chapel to venture around a bit, to check out the gorgeous entry way and ask for wifi, and that's when the wife of the deceased arrived.  She was being escorted up the stairs by some family members and several hired help, and when she looked up at us she was totally at lost at what to say.  Her eyes said it all -- she was devastated at the lost of her husband, the love of her life who she had been married to for something like 40+ years and who had greater a large, healthy, happy family with.  Her children have since grown up, had their own children and have become very successful.

And to think, the lives and success of so many all started with her and her husband.
  
Instantly, at the sight of her eyes I saw my dad in her.

At that moment I wanted nothing to do but call my dad up and see how he was.  Instead, I followed her and returned to the chapel. 

Of course it was sad to watch her sitting there in the chapel, attending her husband's wake, but it was also very inspiring and so beautiful.  Family kept on pouring in.  Even after the ceremony, family was still arriving.  I've been told the wake will continue for a week and then next weekend the actual funeral service will be held so friends and family will be coming in and out.

A choir sang through out the service and they sang so beautifully.

So much family, so much love for this man, so much love for the woman and children he left behind. That's exactly what I felt when my mother died.  I hope my father felt that too and I hope he continues to feel it.

Today I really missed my dad.

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