Monday, May 26, 2008

But I always thought that I'd see you again...

Today the nation observes Memorial Day commemorating U.S. men and women who perished while in military service to their country. For some of us it is much more personal. For my mother it is a loud reminder of a memory that is usually quietly tucked away in the safe recesses of her heart. A memory of a high school sweetheart, an earnest young husband, a new daddy and a war gone wrong. For me it summons stories told by a wistful grandparent who loved a boy as her own. Stories of love. A boy crossing the street hiding the Bible his dad hated under his shirt and sneaking to church. A teenager asking out the little sister of his one true love so he can tag along and watch his love with another. A young man in uniform vowing to have and to hold until 'death do us part'. The new father holding his newborn baby girl up to the large mirror in grandma's living room insisting, "Grandma, isn't she the prettiest baby you ever saw? Isn't she?" A dreaded telegram and a Valentine's card he sent but didn't arrive until after he was gone. This is Memorial Day for me. Today I honor Dana Randolph Barker (July 21, 1947 - February 13, 1969). 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Causality number 37551. The father I never knew.
I hope she looks like you
I hope she fights like me
Stands up for
the innocent and the weak
-"If You're Reading This" by Tim McGraw

7 comments:

brenda ortiz said...

What can I say that you haven't said. I love you! He loved you and would be so proud of you.
Mom

Doug TenNapel said...

I'm thankful for his service. I stand on the backs (and the blood) of men greater than me.

Stacey Hamm said...

You're in my prayers, today, Melissa. What a beautiful tribute.
Stacey Hamm

deichmans said...

Melissa,

Thank you for sharing this heartfelt story -- a truly moving tribute. I hope you won't mind that I have added a link to this from my Memorial Day post at Oz.

Khara said...

What a beautiful tribute, Melissa. We missed you at our last MOPS today. *sniff sniff*

Christine said...

Melissa, This made me cry. Even now the tears continue to come.
I know he would be proud of who you are, dear one. And I think you are more like him than you realize.

Anonymous said...

How many years ago that we all as teenages went to the Mission Valley Community Church. I remember Dana & Brenda. What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man who gave his life for our freedom.
Janie Carson