Saturday, January 29, 2011
A 67 year old THANK YOU
I agree this is a strange concept and an even stranger way to start a blog, but I recently did just that.
During the Thanksgiving holiday, we had an opportunity to visit an airplane hangar that housed years and years of aviation history. This history included war memorabilia. The owner of the hanger was all too gracious and even gave our grandson a flight log from a WWII flight navigator.
On the way home I began to scan through the log. I became intrigued within the first few entries and could not put the log down. As I read his detailed account, I felt like I was sitting right in that B-17 Bomber with him. The log entries told of his daily life, accounts of battles and the shock of living through these events. His words stayed with me for days. Images from his log ran rampant in my mind, playing over and over again. I was amazed at how this 67 year old flight log affected me.
I became overwhelmed with a need to contact Mr. Punches to stay thank you for his sacrifice. This emotion of gratitude was more than I could keep inside. As the days passed after reading the log, I decided to sit down and type a letter of thanks to him. I had no clue of how to reach him or even if he was still living. But I HAD to write it.
So I sat down on a Sunday morning and began to type. The words I wrote were a surprise. The gratitude became a realization of why this flight log had affected me so. I realized that the men in my life who had served our country in military service never talked about their experiences. As a child I would ask my grandfather to tell me about the war. He would say to me "war is not something you talk about". I never pushed him as I felt he had earned the right through his sacrifice to not share his experiences with me.
My father, both grandfathers and husband all served. These men would only talk about the bonds with other soldiers. The stories they did share were stories of the antics and the good times they had. I also felt like they were cheating me of sharing a part of themselves they kept hidden. But again, I did not push them to share, I had not earned that right.
My thank you letter to Mr. Punches was filled with tears and gratitude for sharing something with me that the men in my life could not share. I have since learned through searches on the Internet that Mr. Punches has passed on. He will never read my letter nor will he know the wonderful gift he gave me through his accounts of that 1940's flight log.
The letter had to be written. There was tremendous healing in writing it. I know in my heart that the gratitude I felt was released into the universe and maybe it found Mr. Punches. My hopes in sharing this story with you is that you will take the opportunity TODAY to thank someone who has made an impact in your life. It's never too late.
The MEN in my life who served our country...
William Hasty- Grandfather
Jack Underwood- Grandfather (deceased)
Mike Underwood- Father
Mark Hasty- Uncle
Anthony Luiperseck-Father-in-Law (deceased)