Write Again…Such moments are special
Published 1:41 pm Friday, October 14, 2022
Friends, neighbors, readers. Lend me your eyes, and your perceptiveness.
Why so, Mr. Column Writer?
Well, now. I’ll tell you. I’m not sure I’ll be successful in so doing, but not through any lack of intellect on your part. Nope. More than likely due to my inability to communicate effectively.
Enough of that muddled preface. Here goes.
There are times, occasions, when a small experience, seemingly not very significant, become almost ineffably important to you as time passes.
It’s July, 1969. My Incomparable First Wife and I, like so many on planet Earth, didn’t stray too far from the TV for very long, as we watched mankind’s’ first moon landing. Not only did it happen, but we were all able to watch it. Incredible.
But no, that’s not the point here. What is significant in such a special way to me is that I took Sarah, our less than two-years old daughter, outside that night, put her on my shoulders, and we just looked at that beautiful moon as I told her what was taking place. That Neil and Buzz were skipping around a bit, while Michael was nearby in a Lyft, or Uber, to give them a ride back home. (An attempt at a bit of humor.) Sarah will be fifty-five years old in December. She was born on Pearl Harbor Day. She and her Poppa shared a very special experience, even though her understanding of it was not really possible. Still, she says she remembers being on my shoulders outside one night. Who’s to say she doesn’t.
Then there are two such remembrances I have regarding my maternal grandmother.
The first was April 12, 1945. She came down the side porch steps of their modest farm house out toward where I was playing. “Grandmomma, why are you crying?” I asked. “President Roosevelt died, son.” That small exchange between us has remained a life-long special moment memory.
The second was Christmas Day, 1967. It also involved my grandmother.
Our little family drove from Manteo, and my Tarboro family, my mother’s family, came over also. To Washington.
Our Sarah had been born only a little over two weeks before. My grandmother was sitting in a chair (it’s in our house now) sort of in a corner of the large living room of my parents’ house. She was holding Sarah. I don’t think anyone else noticed, for they were spread out in the dining room, kitchen, and den.
You see, I saw tears trickling down my grandmother’s cheeks. She was not
in good health, and knew it. We knew it. I have that memory moment.
Less than three weeks later she died.
Please permit me to share just one more such moment.
For in my first seven months, while in the Army, I came to know well, and value the friendship of many of my fellow soldiers. Especially Jack, Jim, Gary, Bill, Charles, all from Minnesota, and Perry, who was from Missouri. This was in 1959.
When we rotated to Germany we were split up, and sent to three battalions of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, each in a different location.
In January, 1961, a basketball tournament was held in the regimental headquarters, comprised of those selected for their respective battalions’ all-star teams.
After the final game of the tournament, my team stayed over until the following morning.
Several of my Minnesota friends who were stationed there joined me at one of the post’s clubs. We had not seen one another since November of ’59.
When we left the club, it was time to say goodbye, knowing we would probably never see one another again.
And we didn’t. ..
I’ll never forget that difficult parting, where we awkwardly didn’t seem to know how to really express our feelings, emotions. As long as I have at least a semblance of command of my faculties, I won’t forget that last time we were together.