life

Rest in Peace

My stepfather’s funeral was Monday.

And as is always the case at funerals, I wished I had better known the one being eulogized.

A friend of 50 years stood at the podium and shared that on one occasion, at the conclusion of a military event, my stepfather noticed that his coat was hanging next to the heavily decorated coat of a Russian general.  So he glanced to see whether anyone was looking and then reached into his pocket, retrieved a book of matches from the U.S. War College and slipped them into the General’s pocket, chuckling at the thought of that General moving to Siberia.

Ed’s longtime friend told many military stories – stories of toughness and fairness and excellence.

fullsizeoutput_669

It was those stories of toughness and fairness and excellence that made me wish I had known him better.

He concluded by saying that, aside from his own father, it was Ed who had the greatest influence on his life.

Even though Ed was technically my stepfather, I hadn’t known him as a father. I knew him as my mother’s husband – marrying after I was grown and out of the house.

As I sat beside my mother on the sofa in front of the casket learning more of who Ed was, I thought of the few stories I had of my own. Three.  None appropriate for sharing, but one truly eulogized him in the true definition of the word.

So I held that story in my heart and nodded my final respect as I watched a procession of soldiers pass by his casket each one stopping to salute the Colonel.

Then off to the cemetery for taps and a 21 gun salute.

IMG_4264

Rest in peace.

 

Save

Standard
family

Memorial Day & Dad

My dad served in the Air Force during the Korean War.  His job was to send and decode radio transmissions.   Kind of like M.A.S.H’s Radar, I guess.  He told me once that he was given a poison pill to carry with him at all times, in case he was captured.  Shudder to think.

He didn’t die in service to his country, he died many years later of a heart attack.  Due to heart disease.  Due to smoking.  So try to quit again, okay?  If it applies to you.  Because your daughter, who loves you SO MUCH will be heartbroken…

Anyway, my dad doesn’t technically qualify to be “remembered” on Memorial Day because he didn’t die in service, but this is my blog and he was my dad and I’ll remember him any time I want to.

I really just wanted to share this photo of him:

IMG_0695

I love how in the photo he is writing a letter to my mom, whose picture is there on the shelf.

My mom later drew a sketch of him from the photo.

dad

At some point my mom joined him in Germany and my oldest sister was born there.

Thank you to all who are defending freedom around the globe.  Who are serving, who have served, who will serve.  Who are willing to carry a poison pill.  Your courage and willingness to sacrifice yourself for the good of others is HUGE!  And it is more than worthy of this day of remembrance and honor.

Standard