Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Christmas Of Dreams Day 6: A Trip Down Memory Lane



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Day 6 Question: We would like to know what is your favorite holiday memory from your childhood?

Growing up I knew that my father did not really like Christmas. He would go through the motions and put up lights, help with the tree, and all the other Christmassy sstuff, but you could tell there was something missing. He was not in the Christmas spirit I guess you could say.

When I got older I understood why.

My father was a Marine during Vietnam. He was Echo Company 2nd Battalion First Marines, and was a mortar platoon sergeant. One Christmas Eve, they had just come off patrol and were holding a bridge against the enemies. My father was supposed to go on guard duty, when his best friend offered to instead. He knew my Dad was exhausted and needed the rest. Dad agreed, and watched him walk off into the jungle. Then he watched the explosion that lit the night sky, and knew it was his buddy. He had stepped on a landmine on the way to the bridge. My dad still does not talk much about that night, but I am sure he felt like it was his fault.

When I got older, Dad began to go to PTSD classes, and began to deal with the emotions he had locked away for so long. And I suppose as they say, time heals all wounds. Seeing my Dad go to the mall with my Mom, and actively helping pick out our Christmas presents, instead of staying home and sending everyone else to do his shopping, was one of the happiest memories I have. He got some of his Christmas spirit back!

14 comments:

Bobbi said...

Talking from experience, PTSD is tough to get passed.

Thanks for sharing your story!

Jessica said...

Now you're going to make me cry! I'm sure it is very hard for your dad during the Holidays, but I'm glad he is able to get some of the spirit back.

Melissa said...

sweet story! now I have tears!

Erin Tales said...

Your poor father. I know it must be hard to have lost his friend on Christmas Eve. I am glad he found his Christmas Spirit so many years later!

Amanda said...

Awwww, I always have a soft spot for what we affectionately call "those crusty old soldiers." They all have amazing stories to tell. And I know they're really all soft and squishy on the inside.

Michelle@lifeinawhirlwind said...

Your story gave me chills. Thanks for sharing such a personal story.

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

We should all be thankful for the sacrafices of men that give such things for our country!

Tena said...

{{{ gentle hugs }}}}

Staci said...

I'm so sorry for what your dad endured. I'm sure it was amazing to see his spirit return!

Cathy said...

That was a very touching story. Thank you for sharing.

Tracye said...

I hope he continues to heal.

Tell him I said thank you for his service and sacrifice.

sandy said...

i'm so sorry! I sure am glad your dad has been blessed with the Christmas spirit again:)

Momstart said...

that is really sad...

Diana - FreeStyleMama said...

OMG...how sad for your father. That had me in tears!