Saturday, June 17, 2017

Fathers' Significance

Sigmund Freud stated, “I cannot think of any need in childhood
as strong as the need for a father's protection.”

My father taught me that the only way you can make good at anything
is to practise...and then practise some more!” (Peter Rose)

Mark Hoppus commented, “Mom's dad was in the army...
stormed the beaches at Normandy...fought through French hedgerows...
the Battle of the Ardennes, the Battle of the Bulge...
and liberated concentration camps at the end of the war.”

My Father Loves Me!
Personally written by an American WWII Veteran
who at age 94, passed away last October.

After finishing my Basic Training at Indiantown Gap, PA, and having settled into my new Quarters with the 301st Port Co., an event took place that at the time was very uplifting for my morale. My father who had gone to work on the West Coast for Kaiser Corp. constructing Liberty Ships for the Merchant Mariners, dropped in for a visit when his train stopped in Harrisburg, PA. He left after having lunch in our mess hall but regretted being unable to stay for dinner because he was anxious to be on his way home to my Mother and 4 children.

Many years later, waking from a Dream, I walked into my kitchen at four A.M., sat down in my underwear at the kitchen table and composed...”My Father Loves Me!”

On Feb. 14Th, 1995, I had insight that was quite remarkable to me...that after 52 years, I realized that My Father Loved Me...Very Much! It was the afternoon of October 1943...I was in the Army, stationed in Indiantown Gap, PA...An Orderly came to tell me that my Father was on the Base and the Orderly had ben instructed to bring me to Battalion Headquarters in his Jeep, because civilians had to be detained for security reasons until a uniformed escort could be provided to accompany and permit civilians on the base. It was explained to me that the visitor was in the company of Master Sergeant Charles Hart awaiting my arrival at the Sergeant's office.

During the ride, I had the most agonizing thoughts, trying to understand the reason for this unexpected and unusual circumstance of allowing personal visitors who were only permitted on weekends for the enlisted men...but the ride was short and when we arrived, we were told that the First Sergeant had taken my Father to the Mess Hall; from where I stood, I could see the enlisted men's Chow Line 200 feet away...and outstanding was the dark blue outfit among the olive drab in the line, restlessly waiting. The brown fedora and the blue figure's posture identified this person as my Pop...and as I ran toward him...he turned to see where the shouting was coming from and saw me running...he left the line and came in my direction. When we met, there was a very awkward moment of no embrace, no hugging or kissing...just some back slapping and hand shaking. And I remember that wonderful smile on his face announcing to me that he was not a bearer of bad news.

The thing of it is, that for 50 years until tonight, I didn't make any sense out of the look in his eyes. They saw me with sparkling admiration and good humor, tearful pride and concern, a careful appraisal from head to toe and with what I understand Much Love: The kind of Love I hope my children can see and apprise, when they notice me looking at them. Now, the kind of look I had seen in my Mother's eyes many times, knowing what that admiration was all about but strangely, I never equated that thought with my Dad. Evidently, we do get Wise as we Age.

I still have the hand-scripted page from 1995.
I share this with you now, because I was 21 years of age then without the awareness of all that was going on around me....occupied with my own trials and tribulations. I knew innately that my father loved me, but the weird dream gave me the intellectual wisdom of his feeling toward me.
Love your families and don't expect anything in return for your love.
One day, it will all come back to you in triplicate.”
(The foregoing was sent to me Thursday, June 7, 2012)

Recognized as a Normandy D. Day Vet,
he was on a supply ship from England at H Hour on Normandy & Utah Beach.
He developed a niche for writing about several wartime experiences which were posted online and deservedly earned him the title of Oldest Military Blogger.
A Father's Regret 
In“The Nightingale” the author writes a heart-rendering novel set in France, 1939 which revolves around a family who struggles to combat the throes of WWII.
As a Father and Grandfather, who near the war's end, and is dying,
he writes a letter to his 2 daughters (Vianne and Isabel) with personal regrets.

What I do now, I do without misgivings. My regret is not for my death, but for my life. I am sorry I was no father to you. I could make excuses ~ I was ruined by the war...I drank too much...I couldn't go on without your maman...but none of that matters.
Isabel: I remember the first time you ran away to be with me. You made it all the way to Paris on your own. Everything about you said, “Love me!” which I ignored. When I saw you on that train platform needing me, I turned away. How could I not see that you and Vianne were a gift...had I only reached out! Forgive me, my daughters, for all of it...and I know that as I say 'good-bye' I loved you both with all my damaged heart.
Isabel closed her eyes and lay back into the pillows.
All her life she'd waited for those words ~ his love ~ and now all she felt was loss.
They hadn't loved each other enough in the time they had,
and then time ran out.
He continued, “Hold Sophie and Antoine and your new baby close, Vianne.
Love is such a slippery thing.

This novel is a 'page-turner' telling of persecutions, capture of Jews, severing apart families, food lines with little or no available foods...and dreadful war atrocities. It is a 'must novel' to read!

The Art of the Deal
An elderly couple return to a Mercedes dealership where the salesman has just sold the car in which they were interested, to a beautiful, leggy busty blonde. “I thought you said you would hold that car till we raised $75,000 asking price,” said the man. “Yet, I just heard you closed the deal for $65,000 to that lovely young lady there. You insisted there could be no discount on this model.”

Well, what can I tell you? She had the ready cash and, just look at her...
how could I resist?” replied the grinning salesman.

Just then, the young woman approached the aged couple and gave them the keys. “There you go,” she said. “I told you I would get the dope to reduce it. See you later, Grandpa!”
(The philosophy here? Don't mess with the elderly!)

Written by Merle Baird-Kerr...May 2, 2017

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