Saying Goodbye

Growing up in the military for a kid can be hard at times. There are a lot of goodbyes. You never know if your parent will come home when they leave; if you’re at war. There is always an ominous feeling when you see you Dad or Mom putting out all their things on the floor and neatly packing them in a duffel bag. You know that soon you’ll be saying good bye again. When I was a kid there was no email, or phone calls no contact once your parent left;  for me it was my Dad.

I would sit beside him on the floor as he packed his things and made sure that he had everything. I never knew where he was off to or when he would be back. There were no big parades and send offs, not like it is today. I guess they thought that this was best on the kids or perhaps the safest way since people had come to object to the Viet Nam war.

One item that my Dad always packed was a little silver tea pot; he would carefully wrap it up and put it in the center of his duffel bag. It was a piece of home, every night my Dad would brew himself a cup of hot tea just like we would do at home. In some way it must have made him feel like he was not so far away.

I have that tea pot sitting up on my shelf at home, I look at it often and think about all the times my Dad went away and came home. I was one of the lucky kids my Dad came home. He came home from Korea when I was 1; he came home twice from Viet Nam, like I said I was lucky. I have friends that never saw their Dad’s again.

My Dad gingerly wrapped a rope around the handle so as not to burn his hand when he removed it from the stove. My Dad is gone now but having the tea pot is like having him close to me.

It is the Christmas season and I am once again reminded how lucky I was to have such a great Dad.

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