Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fathers Mahmoud and Hillary

Having watched five others on the mission die or go missing, father Mostafa Mahmoud, having broken and dislocated ribs from coughing, stood down from his second attempt at Everest's summit. In May he said, "I am very sad but happy to make the right decision and to go back to hold my three-month-old son and to see him growing."

And now he returns. A third attempt for him, for Jordan, Scotland and his not yet year-old son.

Hopefully, the young Mahmoud will gain the knowledge through life and one day be able to eulogize his father as did Peter Hillary of his father, Sir Edmund Hillary, who died Jan. 10, 2008. The late Sir Edmund was remembered by his son with evident love and fondness for giving him a life of humor and pathos, life and travel to "the most extraordinary places" (e.g. a summer trip to Yelllowstone National Park included driving all the way to Alaska), trips of six in a mini-cooper and, of course, a visit to Everest. To his son he was a hero of "amazing energy and restlessness." However, "despite all of dad's incredible strengths, he was frail, he was human, too."

** Cliche, metaphor? It's always a mountain to be climbed: fatherhood. **

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