I must say, I'm completely okay with COTA being added to the cup schedule. I reside in Southern missouri and Watkins Glen and Sonoma aren't exactly easy trips to make. Road of America would have been fine as well. Both are roughly the same distance from my location.
Losing a parent unexpectedly is the worst feeling ever. I unfortunately know what he's going through. The thought that you weren't able to say goodbye eats at you forever! Sending my condolences to that entire family! ☹☹