|(me, left on the windowsill, my sister, right)|
The day my dad returned from
Viet Nam (Mash Unit Chu Lai, '66 -'67)
two weeks after Hurricane Sandy raged through here flooding, destroying, changing the landscape of New York/New Jersey/Connecticut forever
(not to mention knocking out our power for 11 cold and difficult days)
-- I spent a "normal" day in the city with my parents, my sister and her girlfriend (who is like a sister to me now).
It was an invigorating, special, throwback day to my childhood/teens/twenties.
Two plays (one really stellar one)and a delicious dinner, all the treat of my parents.
The occasion, my sister's 50th birthday.
|The last time she was taller than I am . . .|
I can read that over and over again, but still, it remains unfathomable.
My sister is fifty, and soon, I will follow.
|. . . and, us, horsing around recently |
in my father's gardens. . .
Beyond that, my older son is 17, and next year at this time, he will be long gone to college.
|My dad with me at my birthday, last July.|
To see him, you would not believe it.
But there it is. 75.
It is Veteran's day, a day that always makes me want to honor, yes, all veterans, but especially my dad. But, for a writer, I am, once again, at a loss for truly meaningful words.
Nothing I write here will ever come close to explaining the strong but gentle, capable, loving, generous man he is.
There is no father who ever loved his daughters more, protected them better, was more loyal and true to his family.
We are so lucky that he returned from a year of hell in a MASH unit in Viet Nam to raise us.
He is anti-war.
He is a Veteran for Peace,
and yet it's hard to imagine him without that year that so much changed and shaped him.
Damn, how it flies.
I honor this man in his uniform,
in his hospital scrubs,
in his jumpsuits,
and leather pants,
in his (leather) speedo bathingsuit who taught me how to dive and swim.
This man who came to every single recital, every competition, every play, every honor and celebration that mattered in my life.
This man who stood over the dining room table admiring, as my sister and I made endless arts and crafts.
This man, who put other people's children through college when they could not.
This man who fixed badly crushed and broken bones with hands gentle enough to heal flowers, with the patience and skill that embodied Premum Non Nocere,
this man who has always known there is No Free Lunch, yet always offers one.
This man that can find my sister and me in a crowd,
in a dark room,
in a snowstorm,
in a hurricane,
This man, who always kept us safe and warm,
and still does.
My dad is truly the closest person I've ever met to invincible.
And so he will always remain.
p.s. thank you to all the Veterans who have so bravely served our country. May there be no more wars. . . and only peace and love.