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Passion, age and ability enable a memorable trip to China:

Epilogue

China in itself was memorable, but so were the friendships made. Rodney felt at home among his fellow attorneys. He made new friends and became reacquainted with old friends who had either known him directly, had heard of him, or know someone that Rodney knew through his legal career or his career at the FBI. For example, one attorney, Willis Wichard, had worked with Terry Sanford, former governor of North Carolina, a person that Rodney had worked with in his FBI days. One attorney commented on how much it meant to her to see Rodney make the effort he did to take this journey, and this was repeated in various ways throughout our journey. Also, Wendy and Helen, the two national guides who were with us throughout our China journey, went very much out of their way to help Rodney, whether it be to wait while he gets off the bus so that we can catch up with the others or to help us find a bathroom when needed on short notice and in so many other ways.

It was a very interesting group of attorneys that we hung out with, quite the wide range. One was a judge for 30 years in New York City and is good friends with Judge Judy. Another was a partner with the secretary of education under Bill Clinton. Yet another was Al Gore's defense attorney when the vote counting situation went to the courts in 2000. Others were corporate lawyers. Still others were partners in small firms such as Rodney’s or practiced law in their firm of one attorney. I felt privileged to be among such a group and to see their support for Rodney and myself as a caregiver. I feel like I made a few new friends in these attorneys, too, and I suppose I should write them a letter or send them an e-mail, and perhaps also a few pictures. A few of these attorneys put me on their mailing list for e-mail and Christmas cards. I hope to put these attorneys on a list of my own, so that we can somehow keep in touch and keep the bond strong that was created by this memorable journey. Shown are pictures of Rodney with just a few of these attorneys. Opportunity did not permit for taking more pictures like these, as I was also busy assisting Rodney.

Photo China

Photo China

Photo China


I should also give a special thanks to Wayne. To navigate the airports and the various places in China would have been quite difficult. To navigate the airport with our baggage and Rodney required both Wayne and me. Wayne’s strong, farm experienced arms were able to take Rodney’s wheelchair places that would have tired me out long before my time. Wayne left the caregiving to me, but the other help that he offered was invaluable.

Above all, I feel I’ve made new friends among the Kittelsen family. I found I could relate to Rodney quite well, and he seemed to enjoy every precious moment of the trip that I did. I enjoyed the hospitality of Brad Kittelsen and his family, and I hope to eat with them and be entertained by them again. I have enjoyed conversing and sharing meals with Ken and Jeff and getting to know the rest of the Kittelsen clan. I have become acquainted with Rodney’s regular caregivers and see that they take special care of Rodney, yet give him the independence that he so desires.

After we got home, we received certificates of participation in the People to People Ambassadors program and a delegate roster so that we could stay in touch.

Photo China

Photo China


Photo China

The end result has been amazing. Rodney recently celebrated his 90th birthday. He is doing far better now and more energetic after his trip to China, so it certainly did not affect his health negatively as some feared. I can say this because it is now about 7 months later and I had the privilege of accompanying him to the annual state bar convention. He is mentally sharper now. He still has some physical limitations, but his ability to get around has improved. It goes to show that getting out and about can be very good for one’s health, and this I recommend for anyone with physical or mental limitations. In order to do that, one may need to overcome a number of obstacles, but they can be overcome. This has sure been evident in Rodney’s case. He is planning his next trip, a trip to Russia in November… Whether I will be going or not is yet to be determined, as a family member has indicated their desire to accompany him, but I am in the running.


Image Leonardo Da Vinci

"As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death." - Leonardo Da Vinci

Clip Art Person Sleeping


Clip Art Peace Dove with Tea Leaf

In Memoriam

Rodney Kittelsen
March 11, 1917 to September 8, 2007

"Rodney, thank you for sharing your zeal for law, travel and life. Thank you for taking us on this unforgettable trip to China. It seems that we will have to make that trip to Russia another time..." - John Wight AKA Johnny Appleseed

Clip Art Chinese Character Love

Clip Art Peace Dove with Tea Leaf


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