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Baby steps day 7 - when a bolt from the blue hits you

Monday, December 06, 2010

Yesterday, something so momentous, so joyous, so ... not just unexpected, but unimagined, happened, I am still somewhat trembling and shaking and weeping about it. It hasn't yet played out but I'm going to tell you the opening part because it's too big for me to hold it inside.

My daddy is a WWII vet. At 19 he was drafted into the army and ended up in the 12th armored division, 43 tank battalion. While still in boot camp he made friends with a man from California and they went through everything together. His buddy had left behind a pregnant wife. In January of 1945 their battalion was sent to take out a German position in Herrlisheim and in that fight all but 3 of the 43rd's tanks were destroyed. Dad's friend was bow gunner with their captain and their tank was the first one hit. It was so thoroughly destroyed there was nothing left of dad's pal. He was listed MIA.

After the war, when censorship was lightened dad wrote to his friend's widow, telling her of his friend's final days. That was the last they ever spoke and for 65 years my dad has told me about this terrible loss. I believe he'd remember this man after he has forgotten his children. A war friendship is unique and indelible.

And through the miracle of the internet, facebook and computer databases, that man contacted a cousin and she passed his info on to me. I tracked him down and called him yesterday with the news he'd been seeking for years - that Daddy is still alive.

For me it's as if some mythological character stepped out of the mists of history. It is an unbelievable experience to get in touch with the son of a man my father still remembers, still mourns. Daddy is in assisted living now and he's old, crotchety, and his memory is short ... but it is still vividly clear. When I know he's awake, I'll call him and tell him about this man - and in the afternoon I'll be visiting him and I have arranged to connect them via telephone.

My dad and I have a very complex relationship, with kinks and twists and some very good things too, but one thread of it is that I was his War Daughter. Oh - not born during it, but I was the one he shared that side of his life with - at least what tiny bit of sharing he did. I went to all the war movies with him. I would ask questions. For the most part he would never ever talk about his war experiences, but now and then little bits would trickle out and he would share them with me. It helped me understand some of the inexplicable things about him. And then, I was the only daughter who lived near by and whom he saw grow into an adult. My other sisters all left in their teens and only returned for visits. They were still his little girls. He could see I wasn't a little girl.

Anyway - yesterday was a day so full of emotions that almost nothing I'd planned happened. Never got the house cleaned. Didn't cook any dinner. but altogether things went pretty good.

1. walk to the landing with Himself (3 miles - added bonus, see if we can get some mistletoe) ___1/2 an x___ I did walk 2 miles but not 3
2. 5 fruits and vegetables ___X_
3. 8 glasses of water ___X___
4. Watch a Christmas movie ___0___

So. It was bitter bitter cold yesterday and I just couldn't keep going into the face of that North wind once we got to the mile point. But I didn't brush off the walk and in the case of getting exercise ... I think being too rigid about this would be creepy. I'm not trying to be obsessive. I just want to hold myself accountable. So. 3 minutes awarded for that

Score 19.5 = 1 hour and 38 minutes.

Today it's doctor visits and long drives so my baby steps will be:

1. pack healthy nibbles
2. 8 glasses of water (pack that too)
3. Put my fork (or sandwich) down between every bite wherever we have lunch today. Eat S L O W L Y

Happy Miraculous Monday to you all.
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    2690 days ago
    Happy to hear this for you. I can just imagine how amazing this would feel.
    2691 days ago
    You're right - my dad saw a lot of action in WWII and entire platoons were taken out in single operations. My dad never spoke to me about the war - the one time I asked he told me to never ask again and so I didn't.

    Now he is 87 and bits and pieces come out - no, he never forgot the friends that never made it.

    WTG on finding the family your father mourns for.

    WTG on staying on track with yourself too!!
    2691 days ago
    sounds fantastic! what an experience emoticon
    2691 days ago
    Wow! What a day you had! HUGS!
    2691 days ago
  • SHEILA1505
    Isn't the internet incredible for the way it connects people all the time and I do hope that your Dad has a good phone call with this wonderful find

    Big hugs
    2691 days ago
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