My Soldier Boy

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Paka wrote
on Nov 11, 2011 5:14 PM

This is my late father, taken around 1940.  I found the picture while cleaning out some boxes here at my mother's home.  She is in her 90's, not entirely lucid much of a day.  Sometimes she doesn't know who I am; sometimes she thinks I am her mother.  She doesn't always remember Daddy, but when I showed her this picture, she immediately exclaimed:  "My soldier boy!" 

The room in which I do much of my jewelry making now is "The Bead Room," called that because Daddy made jewelry here, his last hobby before he died.  I inherited his tools and beads and whatnots.  I have moved on to my own stash and more tools and whatnots, but I still use some of his things.  Indeed, I started beading in this very room to feel his presence after he died.  It was hard to let him go.

Today is Veteran's Day.  I don't see any insignia on Daddy's shirt, so this picture may be even earlier than 1940 from his days in the CCC.  He was in the Army, stationed in Panama, when Pearl Harbor was bombed.  He met my mother when home on leave although he had been corresponding with her from Panama before he met her (pen pals thanks to his aunt); married her on another leave before being shipped to the Pacific.  He "returned" to the Philippines with MacArthur.  Somewhere along the line he won a Bronze Star, turned down two Purple Hearts for "minor wounds" in combat, came home skin and bones to face a long battle with malaria.

I guess I could go on and on, but the thing is:  I am missing him today.  Missing the man, wishing I had paid enough attention to his beading before he was gone to ask him about his work, wishing I could hug him one more time.

Memorial Day doesn't bother me so much.  Veteran's Day just aches.

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CryssT wrote
on Nov 13, 2011 5:25 PM

So lucky you are to have your bead room which has lots of happy memories of your father.  My father was also a WWII veteran.  My dad was an electrician and each time I have to do something with screwdrivers, I use the ones he gave me. I think of him and it makes him a bit closer.  Take care

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lasexybuda wrote
on Nov 13, 2011 11:07 PM

Paka, 

 Lovely and emotive words, touch me deep inside. I hope you fill the spirit and the love of your father

every minute in your lovely Bead Room. Love your mother every moment and talk about your father

Irene from the enchanted Island

Happy beading

Irene from the enchanted Island

Happy beading!

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Paka wrote
on Nov 21, 2011 12:39 PM

Irene and CryssT, thank you so much for the thoughtful words.  I read your messages soon after they were posted and held those words in my heart while I struggled.  I was disturbed that I had let out so much emotion--and then I had to process it for a while.  I am in an awkward position where I have to be "even-keeled" as much as possible and be "the strong one."  Veteran's Day just knocked me around a bit this year, and I really didn't have anywhere to turn.  A little support goes a long way, dear ones, and you helped me through it.

The reorganization of The Bead Room continues.  I love working with my father's tools, especially the weird ones--the former because they were his, the latter because I like quirky things.  Mama is sleeping a lot these days, seems to be dwelling in the years when she was a teacher (30 - 60 years ago).  She did get excited about French Toast (pain perdu) this morning.  Today I am her sister, although we haven't decided which one.  All of her sisters are gone now, but she calls my the names of at least three of them.  Not a bad day, actually.

Hugs to both of you.

Carolyn

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AnnM@94 wrote
on Nov 21, 2011 1:12 PM

Carolyn,

 I just found this post... I just want to say that the photo is lovely. Your father obviously meant a ton to you and he always will. Its great that you have all of his beading things as well as the room to do your beading now.

As for your mother, it sucks that she has her days. On the positive side, you still have her. Whether she knows that its you or not, you still get to spend time with her. You will always have the great memories of your parents, and I thank you for sharing your story with me :)

Best of luck and if you need anything, Im here for you... Ann

 "Dream Big"

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