Six years ago yesterday morning about 5:10 a.m., I was with my Dad when his two-year battle with lung cancer ended, and the Good Lord called him home and gave him a Permanent Address. The last couple of weeks in particular were simply horrific in terms of suffering for him. However, six days before, my Mom, Sister and I had a time to express our thanks and appreciation for all he'd done for us down through the years, and to tell him just how much we loved him. He knew somehow he was about to enter his final days, and called us to his bedside, looked up at us lovingly, and said, "if you've got anything to say, it would be a good time to say it." This was the last fully lucid conversation we had with him.
I know everyone's Dad is special to them in many ways. But you see my Dad was part of the "Greatest Generation" that's talked about. He grew up "dirt poor" in rural East Alabama, lettered in football for four years in high school, and was called upon and served his country with valor and courage for 46 months as a member of the 82nd Airborne attached to the 504th Infantry in the North Africa, Sicily, Salerno, and Anzio campaigns in Southern Italy. He met and married my Mom about a year after the war, a marriage and commitment that endured for 57-1/2 years. He was an industry accountant for 23 years, and owned and operated a real estate company for over 40 years. Men like my Dad, unfortunately, are few and far between nowadays. And I pray that in the days ahead, our great country, and it's leaders, will learn and remember the price that has been paid for the freedoms and liberties that we enjoy, and not willingly give them back to the enemy. That the sacrifices made by my Dad and so many others, paid in blood, sweat and lives, will not have been in vain.