My grandpa passed away exactly one year and one month to the day after my daughter passed away on August 16, 2009. Since I can remember, Grandpa told me stories about his time in the Navy in World War II.
When he went to basic and his job school (which is the equivalent of AIT in the Army), everyone put down their preference of where they wanted to be stationed. They could either choose the East Coast or The Pacific in Hawaii. Since he was from the west coast he choose The Pacific and since most of the men with him were from the east coast they chose east. Well, as it seems with most things in the military, four men, including Grandpa, got stationed on the east coast and all the others got stationed in Pearl Harbor. I believe he told me he knew some of the men who were killed when Japan attacked us on December 7, 1941.
He also told me a story about how he gave lip to someone of higher rank. So this guy told Grandpa to chip off the paint on something (can’t remember exactly but I think it was a round cement bumper thing). Then he had to paint it. Then chip off the paint. Paint it. Chip paint off. He did this over and over that day. He would say to me, “Do you realize how hard it is to chip wet paint? Almost impossible.” Put it this way, he learned a big lesson that day. Don’t ever talk back to someone of higher rank.
Those are the stories I remember. All the others have died with him. As writers, we need to write these types of things down or they die with the person. This is why Mari’s story is so important. If I don’t write it, it will die with me. I know how her hospital story has already touched so many from reading what I wrote while she was alive. Her story shows that even through the greatest tragedy of my life when my daughter passed away, I have shown that even though the pain goes deep, you will be okay. And if you let yourself find the blessings in the tragedy you can see some good things that have come out as a result.
For me, God has blessed and given me the gift of writing. Somehow through what I write others can relate to my words. Others have actually been touched by them. It is so humbling to know this. Every time someone has taken the time to leave a comment on this site or my daughter’s site I am blessed as a result.