Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Envelope

Not long before my dad died, one of his sisters went to visit him and I'm not sure how this came about but she ended up transcribing for him some of his stories from the war.

This was not a thing that was talked about in my family. Dad had a couple of funny stories that he would tell, but for the most part Vietnam was a taboo subject. As were all things that might cause him to show emotions. Children's tears were met with jokes, old or ailing pets suddenly and mysteriously disappeared, relationships ended without goodbyes.

So my aunt typed out his stories and asked him what he'd like her to do with them. Should she give them to us, his kids? Not until after he died, he said. (eerie foreshadowing - dum dum dum) And since Dad was a luddite, he made her promise never to send the stories electronically.

And so, these things have come to pass.

A fat envelope of typed up war stories came in the mail the other day. Stories that Dad didn't want told until after his death. So, in effect, my dad's last words for me.

It sits there on my kitchen table and I cannot make myself open it.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, man. That would be so very difficult. Have you thought about getting together with David so neither of you has to read it alone?

    For what it's worth, the last time I saw your dad (when he came to Tacoma several years ago) he showed us all a National Geographic documentary about a particular battle that he fought in, and paused it periodically to fill us in on where he was and what he was doing at that point. It was fascinating, and he told it very well.


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