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A Glimpse Perhaps, One I Don't Like

One of my husband's dearest friends (and mine since The Captain and I started dating) lost his father to a heart attack a week before Christmas. My heart naturally went out to our friend, his sister and his mom. Clearly there are no words that can be spoken that will make them feel better. "I feel your pain" No, I don't. My father is still with me. "I know how you feel" Not a clue as to how I would even begin to feel if I lost my father. I thought of my cousins who lost their fathers, my dad's only brothers (in '02 and '05). I have no idea how they feel and I would never presume to know. What I do know, what I feel, is absolute heartbreak. I wish I could take their pain on. Take the stress away. Make it less painful. But, no, I can't do that, I really shouldn't do that. The pain, the heartache, the emotional breakdowns, it all reminds us that we are alive. That we were blessed with them in our lives. We have the memories. Photos. Stories. Laughter. His father loved his life so much, he cheated death 13 years ago with a stroke and was told he wouldn't make it 2 more years. His mind and soul said a big F You to the docs. He was able to walk his daughter down the aisle. He had a wonderful 31 year marriage to a fabulous woman and together, they produced two of the most fantastic people this world .

Anyone who knows me in "real life" knows my dad was full on Navy. Career man. Loved it. We always teased the other branches. Ya know, Flyboys, Jarheads, Grunts. They dished as good as they got. I have never in my life seen the brotherhood that comes with being a military man. No matter what branch he served in, when one of them dies, they all come together. Our friend's father was a Flyboy. While many people shared funny stories and memories, I think the honor guard touched every single person in that church right down to our cousins' 7 year old. As they opened the flag with precision, timing and ultimate respect, there was not a dry eye in the place. Then Taps started and several of us lost it. Memories flooded my husband and I of his grandfather's funeral 3 years ago. When the bugle played, one could barely contain themselves. How can one of the most beautiful songs in the world make one's soul ache?

No one likes to think about what may happen when a parent dies. I must be a freak though because I've often thought about it. When my father goes, my husband is under strict orders to heavily medicate me (and my mother if he goes first). People think I'm joking but I'm not. My dad is my mother's life. They nit pick and fight and what not but they love each other. Me? I'm an only child and a daddy's girl. Not a good thing. Is it weird that I've thought about some things I'd like said at his service? I know, pretty much, what photos I want to show in a video. I even know what song I want to play during the video. Gah! It is weird. This service that was so beautiful and touching, filled with laughter and sorrow? That...that is the glimpse that gives me pause. Makes me want to drive out to Wausau and hug that man I call Daddy and tell him that I love him.


Anonymous said…
It's not weird. As we get older we tend to contemplate our mortality. Having kids accelarates this. I thought what you wrote was beautiful. Being a vet and having lost my Dad you have it right. Don't worry about the rest. TX HBW
Les Becker said…
Sssshhhh! I don't yet quite believe I'll ever die. I know there's a loophole somewhere; there must be.

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