I had forgotten that today was Veteran’s Day. It’s also a Dialysis day for my dad. He probably went to the Cemetery to see my mom. Because my dad is a Navy veteran she’s buried in The Veteran’s Cemetery.
I have a hard time going there. One of the biggest reasons is seeing my dad’s name on a headstone before he is even dead. The date of his death is left blank. I’m not sure how he deals with it. It’s hard enough looking at my mom’s name with her date of birth and date of death. I refuse to remember her like that.
I will always remember my mom as a ladybug landing on my arm or when I happen to look up at the clock and it reads 11:11. This happens often when I am on the phone with my sister. I will not remember her by going to a place filled with people she didn’t know and talking to a headstone or dirt. SORRY IF I OFFEND ANYONE WITH THIS. THIS IS HOW I FEEL AND MY OPINION ONLY.
My dad I will remember with every bird in the sky, every ticking clock, and every animal I come across that needs help. I’m in trouble. lol
My father joined the Navy because his father had passed away unexpectedly at an early age. This left his mother with 8 children to raise on her own. One of them was going through leukemia treatments at the time and would pass away also. My dad felt it was for the best. My grandmother signed a document saying he was old enough when he wasn’t.
When he was much younger, I’m not sure of the age, he looks about 8 , he was on his way home for lunch. Back then you could leave school and go home for lunch. You had to cross over railroad tracks to get to where his farm was. He heard kids screaming. One of them had gotten his foot caught in between the tracks. The other kid was kind of frozen to the spot. Of course a train was coming. This is called the “Cook Curse”.
My father was able to get the kid’s foot out and carry him to the side. He looked back and saw that the other one was still frozen in fear. He ran back and grabbed him just in time. The conductor of the train almost had a heart attack and called it in. The newspapers caught the story and it grew. Next thing my dad knew he was on his way to Washington, D.C. to meet Nixon and receive an Award and a Medal for Bravery. I can’t remember what position Nixon held at this point all I know is that it was before his Presidency.
My father doesn’t talk about the Navy that much. What he has shared hasn’t sounded great. I know he learned to be a Master Boiler Room Technician/Plumber type person. I know there had been a plane/helicopter crash somewhere and he had to pick up the pieces of bodies, as many as they could find to help with identification it was that bad. When he starts to talk about that he stops and stares into the distance like he remembers everything. At this point I try to get him to focus on something else.
He has mentioned Guantanamo Bay, Cuba often but won’t go into specifics. He spent some time there long enough to be stung by a Portuguese Man Of War. But there’s stuff he refuses to talk about. My dad is a stubborn man to put it nicely.
My mother used to say “You’re just like your father”. I take that as a compliment.