About Me

My photo
To listen to my latest recording, view my complete profile and then click on "audio clip" under "links"

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

A Veteran I'll Always Miss

Although my late parents are rarely far from my mind, like many people, I get most lost thinking of them on their birthdays, on the day they were married, and on the day each of them passed away. And I suspect my Dad crosses my mind a bit more often because he was with me almost twenty years more than Mom.

I'm also frequently caught off guard when something conjures up Dad. Was he on my mind early today because it's Veteran's Day? Or, would I have noticed that pair of paint-splattered boots on the guy in my coffee shop this morning - flashing to Dad immediately - no matter what day it was? What was the last visual cue you recall noticing that triggered a memory of someone precious you've lost?

Grabbing my coffee, I briefly considered engaging the stranger wearing those boots. I thought to ask him some harmless question, perhaps share with him the way his boots gave me a wistful moment. It's possible my decision not to do so made my subsequent long drive to visit my ailing sister more lonely. I do recall not long ago engaging a different stranger - this one sporting a WWII vet's hat - in that same coffee shop. I don't recall how that earlier interaction went but as the day winds down, some small part of me wishes I'd engaged that stranger this morning, if only to make Dad seem more vivid, at least for that brief moment.    

6 comments:

  1. My dad's passing is a little more recent but I am always amazed by the little things that bring a memory forward for me.

    You know how many times I would have called him during games to commiserate about the Giants already.

    Your blog made me think of him, so thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris; You're welcome. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  2. As it is approaching 22 years, it usually doesn't take much to remind me of my Dad .. and to miss having him here. Veterans Day is another reason. Although he served during the Korean Conflict, he was fortunate in that he never left this country. But, Veterans Day has a newer meaning for me. My son served, having enlisted in the Army National Guard. He never expected that his unit would to be activated and that he would be sent overseas to the Middle East. Admittedly, it was trying times for all of us. But, with modern technology, we were able to actually text with him. It made the thousands of miles seem a bit less and him a bit closer. I'll always have the pictures of my Dad in uniform and I have shared them each Veterans Day. And I am very proud of my Dad. But Veterans Day now includes my son and I have a larger sense of pride because of that. Thanks for posting this, Pat. And Thanks to your Dad for his service.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RRGRMG; Thanks for your comment. I can certainly appreciate your pride in your son, although I can't imagine how difficult that was for you when he was in active service in the Middle East. So, thanks to your son - and your Dad - for their service.

      Delete
  3. I'm always happy to travel to your land, Pat. I'm always pleasantly surprised at the breadth of your interests. This column about Veteran's Day makes me reflect on my father too but from a different angle. We were never close but I think of him often and the very different circumstances of our lives. Raymond Mazzarelli was a solid working class dad who with my mom raised me, the oldest child, and my four sisters and two brothers in of all places, Kenosha, Wisconsin, that was featured so prominently this summer in the news of civic unrest as a result of police brutality. I'm pretty sure my Dad lived his life because Harry Truman authorized the use of the atomic bomb on Japan, twice. Dad received his draft notice in the early summer of 1945 after he turned 18. He was scheduled to for induction physical exam in August. On August 6th, Hiroshima was destroyed. Then Nagasaki on August 9th. Japan formally surrendered on August 15th. My Dad never had to report to for his induction physical. Had the war not ended when it did, he would have likely been a front line soldier in the invasion of the Japanese home islands and might have never returned. Fast forward to 1967. I was drafted by Lyndon Johnson and my friends and neighbors into the U.S. Army. By a series of fortunate events I never had to leave the states and fight in the jungle. So my father and I by very different routes, avoided what could have been very dark fates in the service of our country. Even though we were distant with each other (and in retrospect I wish I would have tried to communicate more while he was alive) I think both of us were keenly aware how forces far outside our control altered our lives. I believe all veterans realize this too especially when 11/11 rolls around each year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Steve; Thanks for sharing your poignant story with me; each comment you make on my blog (and thanks also for travelling to my "land" as often as you do) deepens my understanding of you. My Dad's WWII story is quite different from your Dad's - mine was part of the second wave on Normandy Beach - but, thankfully, my Dad's story also has a happy ending. When I saw "Saving Private Ryan" upon its release, I sobbed uncontrollably in the theatre; I suspect the people seated around me thought I was deranged. And, I'm so grateful I managed to secure a just-high-enough lottery number in 1968 to avoid being drafted. I'm reasonably sure my life would have been vastly different had I been forced to join the military. I'm not proud of this but denying my fear and unsuitability to a military life would be dishonest. That helps explain why I'm so proud of the sacrifices my Dad, your Dad, and you made.

      Delete