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
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.