December 7th

I noticed today that the Post Office distribution center had their flag at half staff. I was trying to think of why, and I can only assume that it’s because today is the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Immediately my thoughts went to my parents and wondered just what they had gone through.

My dad was in his first year of law school at the University of Iowa (then called the State University of Iowa, because Iowa State was just a college). My mom worked at a bank in Chicago. They had been dating for a couple years and it was serious enough for both of them to know this was the person they would eventually marry. Dad signed up for the Navy and went off to Officer Candidate School. I remember Mom telling me that they thought the war wouldn’t last very long, but it was something like two years before she got to see him again.

That’s also when she started smoking. She said it’d be months before she heard anything, and everyone else was doing it. It just seemed to be the thing to do. I guess it helped ease her anxiety. Sadly, she was never able to kick the habit, and eventually the cigarettes took her life.

I met with my cardiologist today. He’s such a good doctor and so easy for me to talk to. He has 2 young kids, who I imagined were getting excited for the holidays, so I wished him a Merry Christmas. He told me that this year was a little tough because his mother died about a month ago. He mentioned that the hole is really huge, which I can certainly relate to. I thought about telling him that I understood, because my mom died just a few weeks before Christmas. But this was his moment to grieve a little. There was no need for me to turn it around and make it about me, even if I’d have meant it in the kindest of ways.

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