Well another week has gone by and my Dad’s memorial service is now behind me. So was seeing some creepy family members I could have done without but I got to see some very beloved ones as well. Especially cousins I hardly know but love. The plan is to get to know them better. It was rather a unique time…a room packed with Boomers is not something you see everyday. I just ignored the creepy ones as best as I could.
It was a glorious day filled with stories, the wind off the lake and my Dad’s ashes scattered at his final resting place. It was banana cream pie, conversation and hugs. It was sadness, relief, connections and my grandbabies. It was seeing my Dad everywhere and hardly having to look. My Mom too.
It was having to hold in all these emotions until leaving for home and reaching a short way from the cottage and then sobbing, uncontrollably, on my daughter’s supporting shoulder. We held each other in our borrowed vehicle and cried for the loss of a great man. Our ride the rest of the way was filled with silence but we could hear the songs and his voice in our heads.
That man was my Dad and I’ll miss him and my Mom so much.
Today was the 70th anniversary of D-Day and I found out more about my Dad today than I ever knew before. My eldest sister sent out an email:
He said that he was suddenly put onto the minesweeper HMCS Minus & it was very much a secret as to where they were heading.That Canadian ship was part of the huge armada of Allied ships that assaulted the Normandy beaches in order to invade Europe.Dad was 2nd in command of the landing craft that took troops from the Minus to Juno Beach. He said that it was heartbreaking. The seas werevery rough & a lot of the other landing craft were letting the troops off too soon. He saw lots of men drowning & struggling in the water. He saidthat they made sure that they went right to the beach to let off their troops.On one of their trips into shore the captain of their landing craft (who was standing right beside him) was shot in the head by a German sniper. His head & brains exploded all over Dad.Dad was now in command of the landing craft that was also now damaged by German gunfire. He could not turn the landing craft around to head back to hisship so he had to take it in backwards. When he reached the ship the captain on the deck yelled at him for coming in backwards whereupon our father told the captain to “ fuck off”.Dad said that one of his enduring memories of June 6, 1944 was simply the huge booming noise from the guns on all of the Allied ships that were there that day.
I know he experienced much more pain than even on that day. I’m proud of him and can’t even comprehend the horrors he faced, even during the years following the war. The nightmares never left him and he tried so hard to not let them into his daytimes. He did a fantastic job.
I also said goodbye to a guy I was dating for 7 months who decided he wasn’t “that into me” and broke up with me, by text, the night before my Dad’s memorial. I sure can pick ’em! I don’t feel a great sense of loss though. He was obviously emotionally challenged and I’m pretty sure I was the “interim woman”. My life certainly moves on.
Well, another week is ahead of me with plans to be with my family and some friends who have been so great helping me get though the last few weeks.
I’m looking forward to looking ahead.