Wednesday, March 14, 2012
THERE WASN'T MUCH TIME
My father sometimes talked about his World War II experiences. We kids were young and didn’t pay much attention. When he was in the hospital years later, with lung cancer, I realized he had important stories to tell and there wasn’t much time. I told my 13 year old I wish he could be there so he could hear his grandfather’s stories one last time. In those years no children under 16 could visit patients. So, young Walter sneaked up the fire escape stairs of the hospital and found his way quietly into the room.
He sat there while his grandfather lay naked with tubes running in and out of his body. My father told the young boy that when his ship reached the shores of France, all the soldiers were ordered off the ship without any weapons. They were told to pick up the guns from any soldiers lying on the beach. He was hit by shrapnel that tore off most of his left lung. And then later he was sent to an English hospital where he stayed for months in recovery.
Later I wrote a letter for mom asking the VA for 100% disability for my father’s injury, that she and my father had no success in doing. The VA insisted that the cancer in his right lung had nothing to do with his left lung that was injured during the War. In a few words, I stated simply that had my father not given his left lung for the defense of his country, he would still have a lung to resort to when his right lung became diseased with cancer. With that, the VA finally granted their appeal.
I always thought that this was the most important few words that I ever wrote so that I was able to help my parents in their time of need.
(Time is so precious. We need to capture every moment with our older generation. What
do you think? Please comment below.)
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