Monday, February 28, 2005

Prized Possessions


From Promises Journal Jar: Are there any family heirlooms in your possession?  Tell about them and how you acquired them.


As most of you already know, my Father wasn't the best role model and there really will never be a Hallmark Card that encompasses all the truths (good and bad) about him as a Father, a Son and Husband......but he was my Dad...... and I loved him....... flaws and all.

The one thing I will always will be able to be proud of him for, was his service in the Air Force. He was America's Soldier and earned my respect for that. I was only 16 when he passed and didn't put much into his career as a soldier, but as I got older I saw the sacrifices he made, I understood the sacrifices my family made for him to do his duty and serve his country.

I was asked by his Mother when she was trying to get her estate in order, what of hers would I like to have when she was a hard question to be asked because I didn't want to think of her passing.......I'm not very good at saying good-bye and letting go....She asked if I wanted her spoon collection.......I'm not a spoon collecting kinda I politely declined.....I told her when I thought of something I would let her know and it was left at that.

Some time had passed and again I was again wondering how my life would of been if my Father was still present and that always leads me back to his unexpected death at 41, then the funeral that followed and the procession of memories that flood back to me with the tears as hot as the day he died. I thought of the folding of the American Flag (which each fold and tuck symbolizing something while the Soldiers are readying the casket for burial) (American Legion)

The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life  The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.   The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks and who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world. The fourth fold represents our weakernature; for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right, but it is still our country, right or wrong.” The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic. The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor our mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day. The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood, for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded. The tenth fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since he or she was first born. The eleventh fold, in the eyes of Hebrew citizens, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost.

When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.

The flag is normally given to the surviving spouse of the deceased soldier, next in line is the first born of the deceased soldier, when there isn't a spouse, then it is presented to the parent(s) of the deceased soldier. Due to my Parents divorce the flag should of gone to my oldest Sibling, my brother, but the Honor Guards erroneously gave it to my Father's Mother.... I now knew what I would like from my Grandmother upon her passing. 

It kind of became a family fued among my Father's family that I asked for the flag, My Grandmother told me that she would have to ask his remaining siblings before it could be given to me.....I personally think a persons CHILD preceeds sibling ties and was upset that the Flag was not given to me when I asked for it.

The flag was finally turned over to my Brother in 2003 without my knowledge, and I later found out he was told not to tell me, because I would be all right the flag should of been given to him in the first place but that is water under the bridge....He wasn't aware of my want, if not need to have my Father's flag.

On my 40th Birthday(2003) my Brothers gift to me was my Father's flag..(tears again........sorry) my sisters gift to me was a beautiful oak display box with his named engraved on it........I was told to sit down and close my eyes.....I'm thinking "Why all the drama, but ok" I can't even begin to tell you how much love I felt when I opened my eyes and there before me was my Father's flag. His Flag along with his dog tags keeps my father alive for's something tangible I can hold onto when I feel like Daddy's lost little is something I can pass onto the beautiful granchildren he was never to is a testament to how much my Bother and Sister love me.......he was their Father too but they loved me enough to let me be the Keeper of the that with a few of my Children's things (locks of baby hair) are my prized possesions.


promiseluv372 said...

Oh sweetie, don't be sorry about the tears.  Heck I was tearing up.  Tears are okay, memories do that to us.. good or bad.  Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story with us!  

anarchitek said...

Your dad, like mine, grew up in a harsh time, when childhood was not a time of wonder and joy, but a struggle to survive.  He left a lasting impression on you, for the better, it seems to me, despite whatever faults or demons he may have struggled with.  Your essay demonstrates how much you love him and whatever his faults might have been, he is ennobled by that.  How very wonderful that you brother and sister would give you this gift of love, another fitting tribute to your father's impact.  Beautiful memory, thank you for sharing.  Bruce  and

astaryth said...

What a wonderful entry... Thank you for sharing with us!