Gold Star Dad

The thoughts of a father who has lost a son to war

Have the discussions.. please

Posted by fozzynok on 05/27/2019

It’s Memorial day here in America. it was a pretty long day. My wife and I decided to attend the local ceremony. After the treatment that we have received, we decided to basically just sit in the crowd and just be there for the ceremony and for the few people who we know and respect. This day is always awash in good and bad memories, flashbacks, shadow people and odd recollections. This is what brings this blog today to the front of my mind.

Think about all of the discussions that you have had in your life.. the good ones, the bad ones, the ones that you wish that you would have drawn out, and the ones that you never got to have with the people who have flowed through your lives. I was watching the movie “The Help” and there is a scene where the main character and her cancer stricken mother had a conversation that they needed to have. I have had such conversations with some of the most important people in my life.. and now, for the most part they are mostly all gone.

I came home on leave one year from Germany. I stayed in Class A uniform that day so I could show it off to the family. I walked into my grandpas house and he was so happy to see me, but he was very weak with cancer. He made some comment about getting a hug, but he feared that I would “squish him”. I talked with him for a little bit and left.. I returned to Germany and a short time after that, I received the call that he had passed away.

I had a discussion with my own mother when she was dying with cancer. She was one of the strongest life forces that I have encountered in my life. She was one of my best friends. She would never lie to me.. and she would tell me the truth, no matter how bad the truth actually was. We had “the” discussion. She was in the final stages of cancer. I told my mother a few things that needed to be said. I told her that when she was ready to go, she needed to. I told her that we’d be OK and that she had taught me everything that I needed to be, I told her that I loved her and would regardless of where she was. I told her that it was OK to let go.  I would love to think that it helped her. But I don’t know.

I had a discussion over Myspace with my son one day (night in Iraq of course. We chatted for a little while and he confided in me that he was OK with practically everything over there with the exception of the IEDs.. He feared them more than anything over there. I had come up with something and it was back to history. We loved to share history, and we loved aviation. I told him that this was no different that the Flak that the aircrews over Germany were facing on a daily basis. They hated it, they had no choice but to deal with it.. fly right through it. In less than 24 hours, He was killed by an EFP. I would like to think that the discussion helped him, but I do not know.

I have had discussions with many people, and some people can open their minds and their hearts and make some connection. I find that the number of people that I have to talk to these days are very few. After Micheal was killed (and this is pretty common for Gold Star Families), the list of people who would talk to me, and take the time to listen has all but evaporated. I have my best friend in the world, and he is the friend who sitting in silence is as good as a discussion… they are few and far between. Have the discussions with the important people in your lives.. they surely will be gone from you, and you don’t get to make that call when it will happen. The worst feeling in the world is losing them before you tell them what YOU need to tell them.

Sorry if this makes no sense.. sometimes it happens.

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