This is hard…
I started this blog as a way to share a few stories & pictures of Afghanistan. I never intended to include my ‘personal’ life here; after all, I have no control who reads it & quite frankly it really bothers me that there are likely some people I would like to block. I guess that is one nice thing about Facebook – I can sort of control who I share with. But ultimately it really doesn’t matter if those I deem ‘unworthy’ choose to snoop around at what I am writing. I have never lived my life under a cloak, so there is no sense beginning now.
I guess the new norm for the blog will be a mixture of Afghanistan & non-Afghanistan stuff. This one is definitely NOT about Afghanistan.
This is hard because I am struggling to figure out how to say what I want to say. I have about 10 different thought tracks trying to get out and I am unsure which one will make it. Maybe a blend of a few?
Let me explain: I have said before that I really do not ‘like’ to write. When I do, it definitely is not done in the ‘normal’ process of writing: develop an outline, draft, proof-read, edit, re-draft, re-edit, etc. I just start typing (2-fingers at a time) the thoughts that spill out as I type. I sometimes seem to switch thought processes mid-stream. I almost always use spell check, then hit ‘publish’. I rarely do a proof-read before I publish. I usually will read it once it is posted & then will go back and correct a few things. It seems like at least one, big, glaring error finds it’s way into every post. You would think I would do the proof-read before I publish, but I don’t.
But I digress.
Here are some of my thoughts on a post today:
- Should I even write one? I mean, really, everyone does it & I have never been big on conformity. For instance, I always liked Challengers, not Mustangs or Camaros. I could never drive a Harley or a Corvette. Not because they aren’t decent vehicles, but because everyone else does!
- Should I do a memorial post for my Dad, who died a few weeks before I left for Afghanistan? This will be my first Father’s Day in 49 years I haven’t had the ability to hear his voice.
- Should I brag about how awesome it is to be a dad to 6 perfectly awesome kids?
- Should I find some inspirational saying, song, poem, etc. & post a tribute to ‘all’ Dad’s?
- Should I whine about how it sucks to miss yet another special day away from home?
- Should I go on and on about not knowing what to write about?
I guess in a way, I just did a post that covers all of those – maybe not well, but it works for me. It will probably be the only Father’s Day post on WordPress that recognizes the day without really recognizing it…
But before I go, I will hang a few pictures of my dad here. He meant a lot to me (duh! he was my Dad) and it has been hard knowing he won’t be there when I get home. It was hard dealing with his death while I was dealing with the last minute preparations of leaving home for a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.
He was a little bit of everything – he was kind and soft and mean and hard and everything in between. I seem to have inherited a lot of his personality, the good and the bad. He loved my Mom & his six kids (yes, I even have the same number of kids as he does) more than anything, but it wasn’t always easy for him to show it.
He made mistakes, lots of them and some pretty big ones at that. But he never ran or hid from them and I know he struggled to learn from them & to be a better person because of them. I learned a lot from his mistakes. Of course I still have made & continue to make mistakes of my own that I hope my kids will learn from. But I am definitely a better person because of the example – both good and bad that he set.
He was definitely one of the smartest, most talented people I have ever known. It seemed like he could build and fix anything. He was a natural musician, able to figure out how to play just about any instrument he wanted to. Unfortunately I did not inherit any of those skills, but both of my brothers did.
He worked hard right up to the end. He never really adopted the ‘sit-back and enjoy doing nothing’ attitude I am trying to figure out…I like to think it is another one of the things I learned from him – life is too short & fragile to ignore the ability to enjoy the present. He longed to travel but waited too long to do it and he missed the opportunity to do many of the trips he talked about wanting to take.
Most of the pictures were taken when he came out to the East Coast with me & my brother a few years ago. I was out there for Army stuff and asked them to join me so I could take him to a few places he had talked about wanting to see, including the Korean War Memorial in DC.
He was a Korean War Vet, enlisting in the Army and serving in Korea as a 16 year-old Soldier using his brother’s name and birth certificate. He went 50+ years without getting ‘credit’ for being a combat veteran. He successfully fought to get the record fixed just a few years ago. It was a great trip and was lucky to have had that time with him.
Thanks Dad for being the Dad you were; not a perfect man, but you were the perfect dad for me. I am very grateful to have become more like you than I would have ever wanted too. I hope my kids feel the same about me. I miss you. I love you.
Frederick Charles Bohmer, 5 September 1935 – 13 August 2011. Rest in Peace Dad
Look it there, I ended up doing a proper Father’s Day Tribute after all.
I had selected about a dozen pictures to post, but the crappy internet connection I have is not cooperating with the upload, even after I reduced the image size to crappy quality – oh well, here are a couple that did upload
I finally got all the pictures uploaded – woohoo!
Thanks for reading.