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My Father's Passing: Three Years On

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Bloviating Zeppelin: My Father's Passing: Three Years On

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Father's Passing: Three Years On

My father passed away three years ago, today, at the age of 88. Wednesday, February 11th of 2009.

That first night of the 11th, I had a dream. I awakened with it in my head. Carole King was singing "So Far Away." I remember that most distinctly.

Dad cut a regal jib as an student aviator.

He learned how to fly for the US Army Air Corps, the precursor to the US Air Force. Here he is at flight school, in front of a huge radial-engined Harvard.

Here, my father is an AAF Captain at Roswell Army Air Field, New Mexico, which opened in 1941 as a flight school. He was a flight instructor with his friend, Joel Kuykendahl.

He married my mother, Betty, on April 24th of 1942.

My father, Richard, was proud of having served in the United States Air Force during World War II and Vietnam.

Our family lived in this house for almost 60 years. My father said his first payments were $42 a month and, with a new family, he had no idea how he was going to make it on his salary.

Those days, the father worked and the mother stayed home and took charge of the children and the household. Our back yard was manicured to the Nth degree, even in the final years of my mother's life. She passed away on May 14th of 2002, having just celebrated her 80th birthday. She also lived to see her 60th anniversary.

I was very surprised. Dad lived another seven years past Mom; I wasn't sure that would occur. But Dad was, as were many men of his generation, The Greatest Generation, tough as nails. He'd survived and pulled through five major open-thoracic operations for cancer and tumors. In his 80s.


My father's funeral featured an official contingent from the Travis AFB Elite Honor Guard.

I've rewritten this post twice. The first went into much, much more detail. Now, I've kept it much shorter and concise.

I miss you Dad, very much. I think of you frequently. I'll never stop loving you as my father, my hero.


I'll bet my Dad's flying high above the earth right now, in an open cockpit Consolidated Vultee BT-13, canopy slided back, where the skies are blue, the weather fair, and he's young, strong and free. So free.

God bless you, Dad. Hold Mom's hand. Step into your past, may it be untroubled and calm and fair. May your love be unfettered and limitless and beautiful. Whatever your ideal reality would be, let it be.

BZ

5 Comments:

Blogger Leticia said...

I am truly sorry for your loss, my friend.

Your dad left a wonderful legacy and I know that you are proud of him.

What a beautiful tribute to your daddy.

Fri Feb 10, 05:41:00 PM PST  
Blogger Scotty said...

What a wonderful tribute to your dad! My father was part of the last push towards Germany. He was a Purple Heart recipient because of those actions. He was also a infantryman like I ultimately became and served in Vietnam.

Apart from my immediate family he was the only war veteran to welcome me back home. Like him I too was severely injured.

He welcomed me home when I received a very cool if not cold reception from other veterans of his era.

He's been gone now for almost 13 years and like you BZ, I STILL miss my Dad a lot!

Sat Feb 11, 07:38:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Thanks, Leticia. A good time to remember Dad in a positive way.

Scotty: thanks for visiting, and thank you for taking the time to comment. And God bless your father for his service -- wounded in action -- to our country in its time of need.

Thank you for your service to your country as well. Vietnam was an action that few, even today, quite understand -- unless you were there.

BZ

Sun Feb 12, 08:21:00 AM PST  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

My father lived for almost 10 years more after Mom left us. He surprised us all!

Great tribute to your father, BZ.

Sun Feb 12, 10:29:00 AM PST  
Blogger Catherine Moore-Barry said...

I lost my father in May 2001. He was a WWII Marine and always proud of that. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't wish I could talk with him.

A beautiful post and tribute to your father BZ. That love certainly is forever and the wonderful memories are what see us through till we meet them again.

Sun Feb 12, 08:37:00 PM PST  

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