Sunday, September 26, 2010
My Dad and the USofA
It doesn't take much right now to bring me to tears about my dad's death. Dealing with the surgeries and upcoming treatment, photographs, music. The song, "The Weary Kind" from the movie "Crazy Heart" does it every time. During the days when we were exhausted, spending hour after hour by my dad's hospital bed, I played this song every time I got in the car. These lyrics particularly speak to my state of mind:
Somehow this don’t feel like home anymore
And this ain’t no place for the weary kind
And this ain’t no place to lose your mind
And this ain’t no place to fall behind
Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try
The last time my dad went into surgery, as I may have said before, he told my sister what he wanted at his funeral. And I keep coming back to one thing he requested. He said, "I want them to play 'God Bless America'." And then he started crying. "I love this country so much."
Of course he was a member of the Greatest Generation, and he did love all things American. He never understood why I would buy a German or Japanese car. He loved war movies and was proud of his time in the service. He criticized the government with care, and never hesitated to remind us that we lived in the greatest country in the world. He believed the US was the peacekeeper and caretaker of the world.
We buried him with military honors, draped his coffin in the American flag. It was folded by a military guard and presented to my brother, his only son.
Back at his house, after the funeral, I noticed a small American flag by the chair he had been using after he broke his hip. It tore me up.
When I get in my car, I can turn off the music. I can ignore the photographs and don't have to play the voice mail where he tells me that Joshua Bell is on PBS and to be sure to watch it. But almost everywhere I go, there are American flags and I'm reminded of my dad and the way he loved our country.