Well, it has been almost two months since I have written in this blog. Lots has happened in those two months. Molly came to visit for two weeks, along with two of her close friends who are like daughters to us for shorter visits. We got artificial turf installed and the dogs are in heaven! Our solar panel project is back on. I have made many new friends through my “Meet Up” groups and I am starting to feel like I am a part of my new community. We have had some not so great things happen too. Kevin’s job turned out to not be what we thought and him and his employer parted ways, so he is retired again. Kevin is still dealing with eye issues from having a partially detached retina. I had a nasty sinus infection that knocked me on my butt for a few days. And now the horrific shooting in Thousands Oaks and the horrendous wildfires destroying lives and homes in our new state.
I decided when I started this blog that I only wanted to write inspirational pieces. At least, pieces with a purpose. I have had kind of a “writer’s block” going on, but since it is Veteran’s Day, I have been inspired to write about the heroes in my life.
It’s funny, but all my heroes are men. I never realized this until I started to write this piece. I have lots of women who I admire greatly, but my true heroes are men. Wonder what that means??
The biggest hero in my life is my dad. Those of you, who know me well, know that my dad was the light of our family. He was the one you wanted to please, but also the one who you knew loved you no matter what you did. My dad is the closest image of “goodness” I have ever known. When I was a young girl, he was my “safe place”. When Dad was home, we were a complete family. I was an adult before I realized everything my dad had been through in his life. Their parents abandoned my dad and his brother when my dad was just two years old. They were sent to Ohio from Fort Wayne, IN to live with their paternal grandparents. My dad lived there through the Depression and he was dirt poor. When my grandmother divorced for the second time, my dad returned to Fort Wayne to live with his mother. After graduating from high school, he enrolled in General Electric’s Apprentice school to become a toolmaker. WWII started and my father choose to enlist so he could pick his branch of the military. He joined the Navy because he knew that hand-to-hand combat wasn’t for him. He met my mother one month before he shipped out for Basic Training. It was love at first sight, but he didn’t want to leave my mother a widow, so they waited to marry until after the war. The letters they wrote to each other during the war are the best things I have ever read. Not only did my dad fight in both Theaters of WWII, he sent money back to his mother to support her-the same mother who deserted him at the age of 2. He was the most selfless person I have ever known, He worked two jobs so my mother could stay home with us when we were little. He always drove the “older” car. He never complained about being my mother’s caregiver in her final years of life-he saw it as his duty as her husband and he cared for her with joy in his heart. He volunteered for the Red Cross for so many years, they finally hired him in his 70s! He never had a mean word to say about anyone and he loved unconditionally. The reason I no longer fear death is because I know I will see him again in Heaven. He was the rock of our family and the best person I will ever know.
My next hero doesn’t even know that he is a hero to me. I am talking about my nephew David. David is my older sister’s son. David didn’t have an easy childhood. His father left the family when he was young and his sister committed suicide when she was just 16 years old. David grew up in Ventura, CA, but he spent two school years living in Indiana with my parents. Once when he was in the third grade and one when he was in middle school. He loved my dad like we all did and he wanted his grandpa to be proud of him. David knew from an early age that he wanted to be a California Firefighter, but he also knew it would be a hard job to land. So, he followed in his grandfather’s footsteps and he joined the Navy and became a fireman on board ship. David was at the end of his deployment when the USS Cole was bombed in Yemen. David was on the USS Shiloh, which was the same type of ship as the Cole, and when we first heard of the bombing, we didn’t know the name of the ship attacked. We were so relieved it was not David’s ship, but horrified at the attack.
David took many jobs after his service in the Navy and got his EMT license while applying to various fire departments.. He was accepted to the LA County Fire Academy at the same time that he proposed to the love of his life, Jeannine. My mother had passed by the time David and Jeannine were married, but Dad traveled with us to the wedding. I believe that David’s wedding day was one of the happiest days for my dad-he was so happy for his grandson!
David and Jeannine have two children now, and just like my dad, David works hard so Jeannine can be home with the kids. He is a LA County Paramedic now and he does his work with dedication and commitment. Just like his grandfather. He doesn’t boast about his work, he just does it. I pray every day that he is kept safe so he can go home to his sweet family. Last year, his own town of Ventura was threatened by fire and he was gone for three weeks. He is now fighting the current fires in LA County-please keep him in your prayers. I know his grandfather is watching over him from Heaven and is proud.
My final hero is the one I know the best-my husband Kevin. I know, it sounds really corny, but it is true. They say you marry your father, so I hit the jackpot! Kevin and I have been together for 35 years. We have had our good times and our not so good times. He hasn’t always been my hero, just the opposite many times throughout our relationship. But, anything worth having is worth working for, and Kevin and I have worked for our marriage. Kevin too, had a tough early life. Both of his parents died when he was in college. He is an only child, so he was all alone. When we met, I was drawn to his kindness and his sense of humor. He has many “traits” that I am not crazy about, but he has ALWAYS taken care of me. He didn’t really want to get married, but he knew it was important to me, so we got married. He didn’t want children, but I did, so we had the joy of our lives, Molly. He didn’t complain when I decided to become a stay home mom for five years after Molly was born. He didn’t want to build our second home in Fishers, but he knew it was important to me, so we built it. We lived there for 18 years! He didn’t believe me when I said we could retire to California, but he kept the faith that I was right, and here we are. Everything we have is because we have been a “team” together. So, you are probably saying, “that’s just a good marriage” and that would be true. What you don’t know is that Kevin has faced many health issues the last three years. Major health issues. Thank God he is doing good now, and being retired is the best thing for his health. He still feels like he should be working and I keep telling him to relax-you have earned this time in your life. Just like my dad, he worries about the future, my future, and Molly’s future. We just want HIM, here with us. God truly blessed my life that night in October of 1983 at O’Sullivan’s in Fort Wayne when I met Kevin. I am trying to do a better job of showing Kevin how much he means to me and how much I love and admire him.
So, on this Veteran’s Day, here is my inspirational blog. Take time to thank the heroes in your life-you never know how long you will have to tell them