I’m not sure when I realized how lucky I was. I think maybe I just assumed that everyone had parents like mine – stern when they had to be, always kind, straight-shooters when it came to right and wrong, but who liked to laugh. Maybe it was when I entered my early teens and saw other parents that were not like mine, that got me started thinking.
Dad was in the United States Navy. He entered the (very new) Radar program in World War II and was a radar officer in the Pacific theater of that war. He left the Navy after the war and attended law school on the GI Bill before he was called up for the Korean War in 1950 (right after marrying my mother). He went back to war and stayed in the Navy for nearly thirty years, retiring as a Captain and the Judge Advocate General of the Fourth Naval District.
Dad went into civilian law practice and finally retired for good around 1996.
We lived all over the place, from Newport (RI) to Aiea Heights (Hawaii) and a few places in between. We were always piling into the car and going for drives, to museums (‘You have to understand, Diana – admission on Sunday mornings was generally free…)
Health care is free to Military dependants – or it was when I was growing up – but while Mom and Dad had their children to the the local military dispensary for their inoculations, the first thing they did when they went to a new location was to look up the finest pediatrician in the area and take us kids there.
Children grow up, and so did I. My Dad (and Mom) somehow made the cross-over from Respected Parent to Greatly Enjoyed Friend.
Dad lived to be 88 years old and he died this past Monday. His family was close by. I will miss him.