Aug 182011

We left the 60th Anniversary celebration of the California Scholastic Press Association where my Dad had just received one of the highest honors . . . he had been inducted into the CSPA Hall of Fame.

We were headed for the hospital.  My brother was headed for surgery.

It was discovered that my brother had appendicitis . . . fortunately, we had caught it early. 

At the hospital, we met the doctor who seemed competent and he told us Rocky would be undergoing a surgery to remove his appendix.  We were assured things would go well. 

As he headed into surgery I leaned in and whispered in his ear, “Just in case . . . I love you.”

Aug 162011

Today was the 60th Anniversary of the California Scholastic Press Association Workshop – a two-week journalism workshop held at California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo every Summer. 

People were coming from all across the country to celebrate the event. 

My Dad has run the workshop for the past 30 years and today was a big day for our family.  My brother, sister and I owe a lot to the CSPA Workshop.  After all, that’s where my parents met.  Every member of our family had attended the workshop.  

It was a big deal. 

Rocky had thrown up all night long the day before and I was worried.  He tried to carry on as if things were normal in the morning, but I could tell he was hurting.  After a family discussion, we decided it would be best to take Rocky to the hospital. 

The decision was made to take him to the hospital at almost the exact same time the 60th Anniversay of the CSPA Workshop. 

Although Rocky was hurting, his pain didn’t seem terminal so my Father, sister and I made our way to the celebration.  We met and talked with people who came from all across the United States to celebrate the Anniversary with us.  But the whole time, our thoughts were with our brother. 

The highlight of the presentation was when my father, along with other instructors and board members from the workshop received the highest honor the workshop bestows upon those who are associated with it.  He had made the California Scholastic Press Association’s Hall of Fame.  When his name was announced, I saw him getting off of his cell phone and he was emotional. 

He graciously accepted the award and the festivities carried on.  Minutes later, after the award ceremony had commenced.  My father informed me about the content of his cell phone conversation.

Literally one minute before my Father had received one of the biggest awards of his life, he got another piece of news . . .

Rocky needed surgery . . . immediately.

Aug 142011

On the rock-hard mattress in a Lassen Hall dorm room at California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo my brother woke me up.

He stumbled to the bathroom.

“Are you ok?” I asked.

“I don’t feel so good,” he said. 

And then it came . . . this grotesque vomitting noise from the bathroom . . . the dry heaves made me nautious.  I went to check on my brother.  He was shaking violently.  This was not good.

Earlier that day, my Mom, sister, brother and I had packed our bags and were headed for San Luis Obispo.  We have been to San Luis Obispo every Summer for as long as I could remember.  My Dad runs a two-week journalism workshop for High School students who live all across the United States, the California Scholastic Press Association workshop.  

The CSPA Workshop has been conducted at the Cal Poly campus every Summer.  And this Summer was its 60th Anniversary.  My Dad has been running the workshop for the past 30 years.  He attended the workshop himself when he was in High School.  

He came back every Summer since then, first as a counselor, then an instructor, then as the man in charge. 

It was as a counselor that he met my mother.

Eleven or so years later, I was born and three years after I popped out the Running Brothers were complete.

My Mom grew up in San Luis Obispo and although she moved down south for college and eventually settled in Chino Hills, she still loved making her way back to her home town.  As kids, we would stay for two weeks at my Grandmother’s House.  My Grandma passed away roughly a decade ago, but my Aunt and Uncle still live in the city. 

Needless to say, The Running Brothers have a strong connection with San Luis Obispo . . . (If you’re a real Running Brother hero, then you’d know that this is where our Running Brother’s journey began)

The trip from Chino Hills to San Luis Obispo was as smooth as could be.  Although, afterwards, my brother complained that I talked way too much and that I didn’t listen to anything he said . . . but that’s besides the point. 

We reached our destination after 9 PM and quickly headed to bed. 

And that’s when I knew that something was wrong with my brother.  Watching him shiver while dry-heaving into the toilet at the dorms at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo scared me.  He said he was fine, but deep down, I knew that he wasn’t.  I was hoping that it was something that would go away by the morning.  Eventually, Rocky made his way to bed and with two days until our Triathlon in San Luis Obispo, I feared that he wouldn’t make it.