I’ve been remiss about writing in my blog, but I’ve had a very sad summer so far. In the space of a month, my father fell ill and died, and I will miss him dreadfully.
Now I am trying to think of other things and find joys in small things; thankfully that has always been easy for me. A butterfly, a summer storm, a book someone sent me, a bracelet from Lourdes, and a note written on rice paper…Every day brings small pleasures and my heart grows lighter. Today, I decided that my blog looked sad and empty and I found I wanted to change that.
I went back and found something I’d written about him a while ago and wanted to post it, so here it is:
I thought I knew my dad – well, I mean, I do know him. He’s the best dad I could ever wish for. He built us a tree fort, he loved to do things with us, and he’s always loved to take us places. He was never too busy for us. My sisters and brothers all agree – he is a terrific dad. Anyway, My uncle came to visit the other week. He came on an army plane, so he flew for free. He was in the army for ages, and he fought in Vietnam and in the first Gulf War. He’s NRA all the way, and a right wing conservative. I, (being a bleeding heart liberal,) get along really well with him, lol. Actually, we get along great. We both love to talk, and we both love to discuss matters. Well, we were discussing the war (both of us firmly on our sides, neither giving an inch, but having a good time.) and he said, “well, your dad would agree (I forgot what we were arguing about) because he fought in the Korean war.”
I knew that. But you know what? It didn’t mean anything to me. I never learned about the Korean war. I imagined him on a boat somewhere (marine = boat) And then my uncle said, “Yeah, he was in the battle of the Chosin Resevoire” in a tone of voice that could only be described as awe. I had no idea what that was. And so, to educate me, my uncle sent me a book to read. It was pretty amazing. I thought I knew everything about my dad, and here I discover he was in the marines, in the Fox company, fighting an amazing battle in the Chosin resevoire. (He just says, ‘yeah, I fought against the Chinese and crossed the frozen Chosin.’) Well, the book is the story told by different soldiers – it’s called ‘The Korean War, From Pusan to Chosin’, and it’s compiled by Donald Knox. It is just an amazing book. My son is reading it now, and he won’t put it down. I thought I knew my history, but I didn’t. And I missed something important about my dad too.
It puts another facet on the diamond that’s my dad. He shines even brighter now.
I wrote that a while ago, and I wish I’d had more time to talk to him – but I suppose we always think that when someone we love passes away.
Mostly, I like to look at the photos I have of him and remember the things he did or said – he had a wonderful sense of humor and was always telling a funny story or a joke.
Here is a photo of my father when he was 18 and had just joined the marines.
Dad, I’m going to miss you.