3/27/10

He held me in my dream last night...



My father was a quiet and gentle man, with a sharp mind and a very quick wit. He served our country faithfully in the Navy for 28 years, during which time he attended law school and retired with the rank of Captain – an officer of the Navy JAG unit.

When I was young, he would tell us stories of being on a ship in the water at the beaches of Normandy. If my memory serves me correctly, he was on a ship that carried the wounded to safety.

He often told the story about being stationed in Korea during the Conflict, and standing next to a Jeep that had been shot. (The shot landed where you might typically find a gas tank.) He called THAT one of his lucky days.

His crowning moment, however, came during his high school football career when his team, the Geneva Bulldogs played their archrivals from Ashtabula. He was the center for the team, and the big play of the game was the center sneak, where he pretended to hike the ball-tucked it under his shirt and sauntered slowly across the goal line. He smiled and laughed every single time he told that story, and so did I.

He died of a massive heart attack when I was 19 years old. The doctors and nurses, who just happened to be dining at the country club at the same time as my parents, could not revive him. He was 58 years old.

There are many lessons that my father taught me before we lost him, but the most important ones were about empathy. I believe that he felt the true measure of a man was in the way he treated others. He showed me, by example, that you treat people with compassion, kindness, and a gentle hand.

After all, it’s that hand that you will hold as you both cross through those holy gates. You know those gates- they’re the ones you enter before you are truly judged, by the one person that really matters.






(I know, I know -it's a repost. I am just missing him today.)

28 comments:

steelxmagnolia said...

I dream about my father often. He too was a Captain in WWII. Army Air Corps. Pilot of a B29 in the Pacific Arena. I am his daughter. His twin soul. His compassion, passion and energy flow through my veins. Oddly, he was in my dreams last night. Hold us tighly, darling Dads. We are never to old to need our daddies. Never. Cheers.

Joanie M said...

I think it's wonderful when girls are close to their Daddies.

3 Men and a Lady said...

Those kinds of dreams are so bittersweet. Brings things back up to the surface.

Cheryl said...

My dad died 6 years ago this month--the same month of his birth. It's been a rollercoaster ride of grief and celebration. So glad you put this back up. It's just what I needed this morning and was eloquently done.

idgtm said...

No matter how old you are, you ALWAYS need your Mom & Dad.

It sounds like he was a real gem.

SkylersDad said...

This is a great re-post, thanks for sharing your dad with us.

Steven Anthony said...

such a stark contrast to the horror that was my dad....he sounds wonderful, a great man, you were so blessed to have him in your life, hold onto those memories my friend....beautiful;)

Stephanie Hostettler-Carideo said...

I'm so sorry you are hurting! I lost my dad 6 weeks ago, and I have similar memories and stories of my father. He served in the military during the Korean conflict too. He was a teacher until he went into the military, came out and was able to go to PENN Veterinary School. He was the strongest and most gentle man I knew, I was proud to be his daughter. Someone told me the day after he died, "when someone clsoe to us dies, we cry for one of two reasons, either we regret not being closer or we are grateful to have been so close. I'm thankful it's the second.

The Boob Nazi said...

I'm actually working at the VA Hospital right now. It's so awesome hearing all the past war stories. I can't imagine how men go off to war.
Your dad sounds like a brave man.

Middle Aged Woman said...

Wow, I never realized how much you look like your dad! I don't mind a re-post, especially on something so sweet.

On the other hand, Thursday night I dreamt of being in George Clooney's arms. I win.

TMCPhoto said...

We just lost our cousin last Tuesday after a long hard battle with a brain tumor. It's good to be reminded that our memories of our loved ones are what will sustain us going forward and the pain of losing him will become less over time.

Captain Dumbass said...

Your reposts are just as good the second time around.

She Who Sasses said...

Geneva and Ashtabula? Was he from Ohio?

Fiftiesmom said...

I know what you mean; I think of my dad so often and miss him so much. We are so lucky to have good memories of our fathers. Hey, did you know that my dad is buried very near your parents?

CatLadyLarew said...

*hugs*

lani said...

gos bless the dreams and the life lessons

Mhel said...

I am daddy's little girl too!!
Dropping by from SITS, happy Saturday Sharefest!!

Brian Miller said...

thoughts of you today VM...

Real Live Lesbian said...

How wonderful to have such great memories! It sounds like he packed 100 years into the time he had here.

Hugs~

GraceesMommy said...

I had the honor of meeting your father...and I must say even in my very young mind I knew that your mom and dad were "classics". I did not know him long or much but he just had that special special that made you know that he was something special. You know your father and my father had a lot in common..the service (marine corp for my dad), Korea and football..they just don't make them like that anymore. ♥

Suzy said...

I've been missing my Dad the last few days as well. But in my case I always miss the parent he could have been and not the parent he was.

And Babble is not working for me. Stupid website.

The Empress said...

Beautiful post, but very sad. I'm sorry you miss him.

He knows you miss him. He knows.

Lovely homage, but still so sad.

just making my way said...

Those missing days are hard, aren't they?

Thinking of you.

Anna See said...

Your dad sounded like a great man of kindness and integrity.

Just Words On A Page said...

Thank you for sharing your Dad with us. I really appreciated that.

PS: to lighten the mood -- you know the word you have to put in the box to make sure we aren't spammers. Guess what the word was today? "Vagina" I about pee'd myself:)

Joey said...

I understand... I had a dream about my Daddy this week.

I'm missing him too.

Clark Kent's Lunchbox said...

Powerful post.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Aw, VKMom, this certainly deserves to be posted and reposted, my darling... It's four years ago just last month for my dad, and as I get around to clearing his house now, as his partner passed (in November, although I was only told by her family recently!!!), all those feelings come right back to us...

And, I too, would give so much just to have that last hug from him again. At least we have our dreams to weave about us, petal. Much love and thanks, Fhi xxx