Tuesday, July 22, 2008

This last week was the 1 yr anniversary of my father's death. I'm choosing to write about him because he led a very interesting life. In my later years I came to be very proud of him, in my teens I rebelled at his old fashioned ways. But when all was said and done, he was always there for me. And no one can take that away from him. My fathers family came from Sweden, his Grandfather was the kings horseman. When my father was 4 yrs old he was visiting his Grandfather and whenever the king would pass by all the children were supposed to run in their houses to not disturb him. Well, my father was a bit of a rebel (like his daughter) and he stood by the side of the road when the kings coaches came by. He waved at the king and said "Hi King", not really knowing that the king was someone special, the king stopped his caravan and sat and talked to my father. I'm sure he got in trouble for it later but it led to lots of family stories for the rest of his life. My father also quit school at 17 because he didn't understand English very well so he kept being held back in school. He had his father sign him into the Navy. Three weeks after being stationed at Pearl Harbor it was bombed. He was in the head when it happened. He said he knew right away so he went to wake up the other guys on the ship. Since he was a newby they thought he was imagining it. They quickly believed him. The ship he was on he had just traded with another friend to be on. His friend wanted to stay on the Indiana so my father went to the USS Reid. The Indiana was sunk that morning. His friend didn't make it. A lot of people didn't make it. Even when my father was dying he always said he thought he was so blessed because he should of died that day. He went on to fight in the war. A couple of weeks after he was stationed at a base the USS Reid was hit and sunk. Two times he escaped death during that war.Then he met and fell in love with my mother. They were married for 56 yrs. He went back to school and became a math teacher and she a nurse. They raised 3 children and helped me raise my 3 children after their father left.

And he had a knack for running into celebrities. I'm telling you wherever he went someone famous would be there as if they were just waiting to meet him. Here he is when my husband and I took him and my mother to Washington DC when they opened the WWII memorial. We were at the Navy Museum and in walks Tony Curtis.

This would happen all the time with him. He was a private pilot and one time he was out in California, I'm not sure if I'm getting the story completely accurate, but somehow he ended up giving Buddy Hackett a ride to Chicago.

He was obsessed with having everything taken care of for my mother and us before he died. He'd call my husband over and have him fix things he couldn't do anymore. About a week before he died he woke up, which he seldom did at the end. He asked for my brother. My brother lives in Cincinnati, about a 6 hr drive from here. We called my brother to come home thinking he was going to give us words of wisdom to live with for the rest of our lives. My brother drove here and sat beside my dad and asked him what he wanted. He said "Tell Jody the extra batteries to the camera are in the camera bag". We all just cried with laughter.

We didn't agree on politics or religion, in fact, far from it. But we did agree that love is what really matters. I miss him so much.

I was going to post a picture of my most recent socks but I accidently erased it. So you'll have to take my word for it that they turned out beautiful.


Suzanne said...

What a wonderful tribute to your father. He led a very interesting life. My dad was in World War II also, although he was not in Pearl Harbor. We don't have to agree on everything but we do need to acknowledge and love the fact that these people we call parents, chose to commit themselves to our well-being.

I always laugh that the last words from my 87 yr. old mother-in-law will be, "Don't forget to take the garbage out."

I'm sure your dad knows how much you miss him.

HEY - SOCKS?? I've never been able to knit socks. Seriously I need to give it another try. Do you know of an easy pattern?

- Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

grnmtnkntr said...

Pat, this is a lovely piece. What a tribute to your dad.

A :-) said...

Pat, what wonderful memories you have of your dad - and how lucky you were to have him in your life for so long.