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My wife and I spent yesterday afternoon at the Willamette National Cemetery. We were there for the interment of her stepmother. She was going be interred next to Karen’s dad. Karen’s dad began WWII as a sailor in the Merchant Marine and, before the war ended, was a sailor in the US Navy. While waiting to be escorted to one of the shelters for the memorial service, Marines arrived for another service. So we missed the endless parade of pundits for the Senate verdict on President Trump’s impeachment.
Karen’s dad was a farm boy from North Dakota and joined the Merchant Marine to escape the farm, and a chance to see the world that existed beyond the Dakota plains. He saw a bit more of that world than he bargained for. On his first voyage, his ship was sunk by a German U-boat. He and some of his shipmates found themselves in a lifeboat and watched as the U-boat surfaced. They thought that the Germans were going to finish the job they started. The sailors on the U-boat gave them some food, and then gave them directions on the course they needed to follow to get back to the US coast.
Karen’s stepmother was a kind and gracious woman. Years ago, our daughter almost entered the world in their living room. We made it to the hospital in time; about an hour after Karen went into labor, our daughter was born.
There was some laughter and tears on that cold, rainy day yesterday. Two blended families sharing memories of someone they loved, and who loved them, and later talking about children, and grandchildren.
Karen and I didn’t miss anything yesterday in the big world; we had everything we needed in our little world.Published in