August 15th, 2007

Go with God, Old Soldier…

I lost my father last night. One moment I was holding his hand, feeling his pulse racing in one final effort to hold on to life. Then he closed his eyes, and I could feel his pulse slow until the last beat. You never realize life is so fragile until that moment when it ebbs away. Forever.

Here’s hoping you are in a better place Lieutenant.
Go with God, old soldier.

If you know an old soldier… spend time with them soon. We will all be poorer for their passing. Men like my dad were once young and brave — part of a great, noble effort that just managed to save the world. For that, they should be honored.

In his lifetime, my father was many things — a Forest Ranger on fire watch in the Olympic Mountains, a commander of Army Engineers in North Africa, a student at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, a college professor, a celebrated artist whose works hung in the Guggenheim, an illustrator for the Space Program. He was one of the “Greatest Generation” — those young Americans that fought to save the world from Nazi oppression in WWII. He lived an amazing life for 87 years, but his time came at last. I can only take solace in the fact that his passing was gentle and without pain. But I will miss him, and I already feel an emptiness in my life.

Though he never became a rich man, he was truly a gentleman and a scholar. He was compassionate to all and honest to a fault. One thing I can do in his memory, something I know would give him a smile, is to show some of his art. He would enjoy knowing that people, around the world, could see something he created.

God bless, Dad, this is for you.