So, today is a great day to remember those who have gone before us, particularly, those who have fought for our country. Today is a day that I will remember a few lost loved ones that did not serve in the military, but whose lives have affected mine immensely.
I will start with my Dad, since he was my hero. We was turned down by the military because of a foot problem, but he always wished he could have served in the military. He was the smartest man I have ever known. Smarter than all my teachers, or professors, or scientists I have worked with. Smarter than any dad I ever knew. Just smart. He knew so much about so many subjects, and the things he knew were actual facts. Yes, he had opinions, such as on the subjects of politics and war and religion, but he also knew the answer to every question I ever asked him, and there were many. He had an engineering degree and was also a gunsmith for over 45 years, right up until his death in 2000 at the age of 72. He spoke 4 languages and live in many countries. He knew everything there was to know about guns, airplanes, history, war, and he read every book he could get his hands on. He was the only person I know who would watch a program on TV (something to do with history, as usual) and read a bookat the same time. But, the kicker was that he would also carry on a conversation with me while he was doing the other two things! He was amazing. I only have good memories of him, even though he was not perfect, and yes, he was known to have a hot temper, but he did not have a mean bone in his body. He loved to perform service for others and was kind to everyone. But he was also a no-nonsense, stick-to-your-beliefs kind of guy. I have had such a hard time with having to say goodbye to him – I was there when he took his last breath after a 2 year long battle with cancer. We would sit beside him and talk about the good times and remember the things he had accomplished in his life. And, at the end, I still couldn’t believe he was gone. I cried for months and months, just because I missed him. I know he is in heaven with all his loved ones from the past and that he now lives again and is in no pain, but I miss him so much. He was such a bright light in this dim world.
Next… my best friend, Mikie, who died of brain cancer at the age of 18. I met Mikie when we first moved to California from Ohio. She was in my 4th grade class and lived down the street about 8 houses. We hit it off immediately and stayed best friends until the day she died nine years later. We did everything best friends do, like stay over at each others houses, spend everyday playing together, riding horses, playing music, planning our futures, exploring the outdoors, and helping each other with our chores. We were both tomboys and she joined me in my competitive rifle shooting meets. She actually did better than me! When we were in high school, we took separate paths, and she graduated a year early as a 3-year grad. She had a beautiful baby girl, Rochelle, and then Mikie died 18 months later. I wish I could have spent more time with her during those last few years. She was such a beautiful person, inside and out. I love her so much and miss her more than words can say. The day she found out that she had a tumor, she had such a bright outlook. She smiled and said “see you when I wake up!” as they were wheeling her in to do a biopsy. She never woke up and spent the next 10 weeks in a coma until she finally passed. Her parents took her gorgeous long brown hair that they shaved off for the biopsy, and had it made into a wig for when she woke up. She was wearing it, along with her prom dress, for her viewing. She looked so beautiful, that I thought she was just sleeping. I was haunted by that vision for many years after. I wish I could tell her how much she meant to me as a friend. For years, I felt guilty that she was the one to die, because she had a beautiful child to raise and I didn’t. I wanted to trade places with her. Her parents have raised her daughter and did a great job. She is a beautiful woman now.
Someday, I wil be able to make some layouts for a scrapbook about the lives of my loved ones who are gone now. It’s so hard, but I promised myself I would do it.