Yesterday was the thirty-fifth anniversary of my father’s death. It’s a day that will always live in my memory. I was serving on active duty in the United States Navy and stationed at the Naval Air Station in Albany, GA. I was working the afternoon shift in the newborn nursery when I was summoned to the executive officer’s suite. He greeted me and told me that he was sorry to have to tell me that my Dad had passed away earlier that day. I cannot remember the XO’s name, but I will always remember his face and the look of genuine concern. Though I had only been stationed in Albany about four months at that point my shipmates took the best of care of me.
Bill Kirkland, one of the dental technicians magnanimously offered the use of his Datsun 240Z for me to make the trip home. I’ve often thought of what a special gesture that was. I’ve completely lost track of all my shipmates in the last thirty years, but I’d like to say thank you to Bill because his gesture stood out from the rest. I don’t even know if he’s still alive, but you really bumped me up that day with that offer.