It was odd. Seven a.m. Where was everyone? The light came through my window just like molasses.
My soldier had come to say good bye. He didn’t want me there. Tied to tubes, IV;s the smell of death. This is how he wanted me to know him. 33 years ago when my husband David and I got married.. Not only did I gain a husband, but a father. And a family. People who patiently taught me to grow up. Patiently taught me to pray.
Later, as friends, he talked about the war. He was a gunner on the S. S. Notoma Bay, now just scrap. He told me how he knew he would kill a man by the look in the eye, He could outshoot any man on that ship, that country boy. He also ran the rolling crap game. He told me a story of how a ship pulled up with mutton for supplies. He said it smelled so bad, they lifted it on one side and over the other it went.
Three times he swore he would die. A three day typhoon, a sky full of Japanese bombers and a wolfpack of German subs. “aint no non believers in a hurricane” he would say.
One of of my favorite stories was the controversy about gays in the military. You have to understand that Dad was an OLD German country Catholic As conservative as they came. When he found out that some of us had voted for Obama, he nearly had a fit. By then, though, acceptance was a gift he’d learned. Not so in years past when I caught holy hell as a newly minted Kirsch who believed in a women’s right to choose. Be assured it was the last time I opened my mouth on that.
He didn’t much think of Bill Clinton. Frankly, thought him an asshole. But the final straw was “Gays in the Military”? “Don’t ask don’t tell?, he snorted. “Hell there were always gays in the military. Back then we called them fruits As long as the man could hand me bullets. I didn’t give a shit what he did in his spare time”.
Then he would stomp off to his bar, and wait for me to mix him a tang and tonic. Other’s would try and he would wave them off “don’t bother”, he’d say, “Kelly knows how I like them”.
Five kids, with an 8th grade education he put through college, farmer and building grain bins, This is a nasty story, but funny.
Bobby Budrow wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. One day, he needed to relieve himself. As there were no outhouses in cornfields, he did so next to the driver’s side of the truck. Bad idea.
Unfortunately for him, Clarence managed to step in it. Hollering the only way he could ” GOD DAMMIT BOBBY I JUST STEPPED IN SHIT AND IT AINT DOG!!!!!!” Bobby didn’t last too long after that, you can imagine
I can tell more, but my heart is aching. The tears won’t stop. The blessing is that the Holy See was in America when he passed. And he did so in between my sister Annette and brother Greg’s birthday.
Wait for me Clarence at the Bridge. Me and my dogs. My husband. Our family. We shall walk into paradise together……No matter what you may have feared on earth, I know our Savior will welcome you with open arms. You were a good man.