Sunday, November 11, 2012

Honor, remembrance, and how time flies. . .

(me, left on the windowsill, my sister, right)
The day my dad returned from
Viet Nam (Mash Unit Chu Lai, '66 -'67)
Yesterday --

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.
My father, ever strong and youthful, turns 75 this March.

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.

Nothing.

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.

Time flies.

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,

in distress.

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.


- gae

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.

8 comments:

  1. Beautifully written, Gae, lovely post. Your dad is an amazing, terrific, generous, brilliant, lucky man. I love him too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think, really that Stu just inspires love. I have adored him since I met him, and I am fully confident that I am just one of many admirers. And this piece shows the thread that connects his heart to yours--that this ability to inspire adoration is something that is either transferred through blood or behavior. you are all, all that.
    this is a lovely tribute--and I'm proud to know you both.

    ReplyDelete
  3. thanks for reading and getting it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gae, thanks for sharing this. While it is obvious your father and mother (and family) would be wonderful, given your special nature, it is very moving to hear such a wonderful tribute.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Beautiful. You did, indeed, find the perfect words.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow. I just found this. My father, the doctor for 50 years, was in the Army as a doctor (stationed in Germany in the 50s), went to Viet Nam to volunteer as a civilian physician when I was 8. And then went to Boston for the moratorium marches. And cared for people and cared until now he is cared for at 89, in his wheelchair, his mind still writing that book that will save us all. Your regard and honor for your father - I wish everyone could feel that way about their fathers, what I feel for mine, too. Thank you for this beautiful tribute to all of them, all the veterans, and the healers and the fathers.

    ReplyDelete
  7. so glad it resonated with you, Valerie. How us girls love our daddies. <3

    ReplyDelete
  8. such a tribute. oh, that I could be half this much to my children. You and we are blessed by what your Dad has done for our nation, for your family and for all those he healed. We are better because of him....which could only happen for me through your words. Thank you Gae.

    ReplyDelete