Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Father Loves Me

On Feb. 14th 1995 I had an insight that
was quite remarkable to me.
After 52 years I came to realize that:
My Father Loved Me, ..Very Much.

I got out of bed at 2 am
wrote this on a legal pad, in pen and ink
longhand, sitting in my underwear.
I still own the pad today.

It was late afternoon in Oct. 1943 ..
I was in the Army, stationed in
Indiantown Gap, PA.
An Orderly came to tell me that my father
was on the base. The Orderly had
instructions to bring me to Battalion
Headquarters in his Jeep, because,
civilians had to be detained for Security reasons..
A uniformed Escort had to be provided
to accompany the visiting Civilians
on the base.
It was explained to me that my Visitor
was in the company Master Sgt.
Charles Hart, who was my 1st Sgt.
He was awaiting my arrival at the
Sargent's Office with the Officer of the Day.

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 enlisted men.......but the ride was short
and when we arrived, we were told ,that
my First Sargent had taken my Father to
the Mess Hall, and we were to meet them there.
\As I turned to look toward the Mess Hall,
from where I stood, I could see the enlisted men
in the Chow line, most in green fatigues
about 100 feet away .
Outstanding was the dark blue outfit
among the olive drab, restlessly waiting.

The blue figure with the brown fedora had a posture
that identified this entity as my Pop....
and I ran toward him.. He turned to see where
all the shouting was coming from...
and saw me running...he left the waiting line
and ran in my direction..

When we met there was an awkward moment,
of no embrace, no hugging or kisses...
just some very Macho back slapping and
hand shaking ...and I remember that
wonderful smile on his face that announced to me
that he was not the bearer of bad news.

The thing of it is, that, for over Fifty Years,
until this particular night,
I had never made sense out of the look in his eyes.

They saw me with sparkling admiration
and good humor, a tearful trace of concern and
a careful appraisal from head to toe....And
with what I understand now, AS 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 and knew, what that look of
adoration was all about.

Strangely, I never equated that thought
with my Father until this moment.
My Father Loved Me.

Evidently, we do get wise, as we age.