Sharing a bit of my life

July 27, 2008 in Off Topic

My first patent!

In the spirit of my last post, regarding the split between our blog world and the “real” world, I thought I would share a bittersweet moment in my life.

As I was growing up, my engineer father was always coming up with ideas that he wanted to get patented. I got this message that getting a patent was of great importance and something to really aspire to. Weird huh? I guess its better than emulating something like a beauty queen or basketball player.

I went on to become a scientist. The summer after I defended my dissertation my dad and I drove from Virginia to Los Angeles for my first postdoctoral fellowship. It was a grueling and crushing trip, not because of the miles but because my father could not even remember my name at times and he grew more and more disoriented. I got half way across the country and called my mom in desperation, asking her if she realized that my dad had Alzheimers. She didnt know, she was in denial I guess.

For the next 8 years my father descended into the hell of early onset Alzheimers and then died at the age of 61.

So, when I finally got my first patent a few weeks ago, as you see in the photo above, it made me very sad because I do not have my father to celebrate this experience with. He would have been so fantastically proud.

I am proud to be his daughter.