- Family and Parenting
An American Soldier and Father
It was February 23, 1992 that my father passed away. I remember I was living in New Mexico at the time and had just returned from a trip from visiting him. He had been ill with a heart condition but was better it seemed and so I returned home. Then on the night of the 23rd one of my sisters called to tell me that my father was dead. That after I left he took a turn for the worse and they should all convene to the hospital because he wasn’t going to make it through the night.
I made arrangements to leave the next day,but that night that he died was the saddest night of my life and it was spent going through passages from the bible with my then husband. He tried to comfort me as much as possible, he read psalms to me and told me that my father was in a better place.
Even though I knew that he meant well the words just seemed so hollow to me because even though he may be in a better place, he was not here with us now, until the day that I die, I would never see my father on this earth again, and I was in pain.
I went back home to Texas and we had a funeral for my dad. Being that my father was from the "greatest generation" he was a veteran of World War II in which he received a purple heart for his injuries and was a prisoner of war in Germany, so he was buried in a veteran’s cemetary there and was submitted to the ground to rest on a gloomy, windy day in Texas. My brother sang “Amazing Grace”, and had everyone in tears.
So here it is close to the day of the anniversary again and the thoughts come to me expeditiously and without warning.
I miss him as much as I ever did. I miss our conversations and his wit.
My father was a manic depressive and his later years were spent in such a depressed state that he could hardly get out of his bed and didn’t even have the motivation to go out for a walk. I wish that I could have been more help to him then but there you have it, you cannot change the past.
I have been out to the cemetery where he lies a few times and I shall go this year as well but it is something that I am compelled to do since living in my hometown now. Just to say hello, just to say I miss and love him.
There are so many things that I wish I could’ve told him before he died but I guess everyone says that. I believe a person needs to tell the people they love everything there is to say so that if they were to suddenly die, there will be nothing left unsaid.
I have heard that when people die they come to you in dreams and let you know that they are alright. I don’t know if this is true but I do know that I dream of my father a lot and when I do he is always laughing and smiling and having fun. I tell myself that he is letting me know in his own way that he is alright.
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