I let something slide this last week. It was my dad’s birthday…he would have been 100 years old. Guess that makes me an old fart when I really think about it. My dad was the 13th of 13 kids born back when life seemed to be more simple (at least how we see it). I asked him why he didn’t save a couple rolls of “S” pennies from the year he was born. If you are not a coin collector, those pennies are now worth a fortune….each. Of course, we have the advantage of hind-sight.
I really only knew my dad closely for 17 years because immediately after graduation from high school I was off to the Navy. I spent approximately 23 years traveling the world, as the advertisements would say. I did get home for a week or two occasionally on leave. We all knew our parents loved us but it was rarely stated in verbal form until I was home in 1973 prior to a Western Pacific cruise when my dad hugged me and told me that he loved me. It was kind of a foresight into the future for I received a Red Cross message a few months later stating he had a massive heart attack and passed away. Flying from half-way around the world gives you time to think and put things in perspective.
I have two other brothers…I’m the poor kid in the middle and one sister. She suffered relentless attacks from her brothers. My sister passed away in 1995 from leukemia. I temporarily moved back to Massachusetts from Tennessee to help my younger brother take care of mom from 2000 to 2005 when she passed away from cancer. My two brothers are both living in Maine now and I’m out west as all of us chose our own paths to follow. I’ve loved the west since I was stationed in California for over 14 years at Lemoore (near Fresno) and then China Lake Weapon Center near Death Valley.
Even though my brothers and I are apart, we are closer now than we ever have been.
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.