Today I took a simple trip to the UPS store. To be exact, I was (finally!!!) mailing off my Mountain Baby Blankets. What seemed to be a routine errand changed into a thought-provoking trip into my family and my nation's past.
I was third in line, and I put down my bags on the floor next to me, and then set down my wobbly-kneed daughter to dance to the music and stand next to me. An elderly gentleman saw her and asked if she was learning to walk. Not quite, but she's trying, I responded. And a friendly comment opened up the floodgates...
"My great-grandson is too. I missed that stage with my son, since I was off at the war you know. World War 2."
ummm... where does the conversation go from here?
"Where were you stationed - were you in the Pacific? Europe?"
(I'm not much of a war buff, but I figured that was the next logical question. My grandfather was in the Pacific and always loved talking about the ship and his buddies.)
"Yes, I was in the Pacific."
(now WHY oh WHY did I not ask the name of the ship? because I couldn't remember my grandfather's ship that's why. ugh. Should have asked anyway - I got the ship info this afternoon from my mom.)
This kind man proceeded to tell me that the atomic bomb probably saved his life, and numerous others. He looks at life differently now. How being in the Pacific taught him to value his life. And how he is 94 years old with a pacemaker, and the doctor says he's healthy as can be.
Then it was his turn to pay and leave. I wished him well, and he walked out.
The man behind the counter at the UPS store and I could hardly believe he was 94 years old!!!
I don't really know what more to say. Other than this...
Do you value your life?? What would it take to value yours as much as he does his?
Why oh why do we still have wars that tear away fathers (and mothers) from their sons and daughters... and all their special moments...
And just a little reminder to myself - enjoy the moments with my kids - - - my daughter will (hopefully) never again have to learn to walk. It is a precious thing to be a part of every experience.
***Want info on my grandpa's ship? Check it out at USS Barnes - that's where I got this picture from. If I was really cool, I would scan in some of my grandfather's pictures - maybe another time. That means digging through boxes at my parent's house, and I don't have time for that this week.
***If you want another little dose of viewing life through different eyes, please check out Blue Yonder today. Except for the fact that my grandfather wasn't bald, she could have been driving behind him.