BORN 7-29-1917 DIED 8-1-1993
I loved my father, and I will forever. My father was born in a family of three younger brothers. Two of his brothers were eventually killed, while serving as fighter pilots in the United States Army, during the tail end of World War II, in Germany. Both were highly decorated. My father’s, only other brother, was in the United States Navy.
My father was, in the, United States Army, and served as a 1st Lieutenant, in the Signal Core, attached to the Third and Seventh Armies. While serving, he was awarded the “Purple Heart” which he wore, for wounds received on July 29, 1944. He was an instructor before going to Ireland, on December 29, 1943. He wore the ETO ribbon with four battle stars for Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe.
He was a very proud man, and when he discharged, began employment, with B.F. Goodrich, a local tire Company, eventually was employed by the Philadelphia Electric Company, as a Lineman, a Foreman, and eventually a Supervisor. He met my mother, Eleanor Madeline, prior to entering the Military..
When he eventually died, I took a large box, which contained, approximately, eight hundred, letters my mother and father wrote to each other while he was serving in the Military. When ever I had some time, I would sit and read some of them, to try and get a feeling of what their relationship was like. I read them, until I realized, that that it was their most personal feelings and thoughts, to each other, at which time decided to burn them all, in a camp fire at a Cabin we have, in the mountains, as an honor to their truest love, compassion and dedication, to each other. It truly was a profound love story. It was a relationship that survived the trials and tribulations of time and remained unconditional. It was a unique blend of loyalty, love and respect.
Their relationship was typical of the generation. A woman was to be taken care of. She was the housewife, and home maker. My father was the money earner, and the man of the house, along with being the disciplinarian.
My father was a proud man who expected his sons to be men. He also required that his sons joined the Military, to serve their Country.
He worked hard and supplied his family with all the necessary support, and love.
My brother and I were taught to do dishes, wash cloths, and iron. This taught us responsibilities.
I always wanted, growing up as a child to confide in him, that I was different and felt like a girl. But, to do so would have destroyed his life and probably mine also. He told us often “do not be sissies, you’re not a girl”.
Note: I always wondered, why he would say that, don’t be a girl or a sissy!. Here is a man, which unconditionally loved his wife, and placed her on a pedestal. She was beautiful and he treated her like a Goddess. But God forbid, if I wanted to be as pretty, and precious as her, in his eyes! Because I always heard don’t be like her! Don’t be a girl! –
My father was a philosopher, and studied everything in life along with researching the meaning of all religions.
If in my heart, I was a true son, in his life, it would have been perfect. But how could I tell him I was really a girl inside. But he was a product and victim of his generation and Society’s moral bullshit.
I learned that I had to live like a boy, a male, a man to survive. I learned that I could not share my true feeling and thoughts with people that I loved so dearly, my mother and father because they also were mandated by Society to act a certain way in thought word or deed. That it was more important to them to be seen and live a lifestyle that others expected, regardless of knowing that the decision they chose was wrong
He expected us to be men, don’t cry, don’t complain, and join the Military to serve your County. Only sissies and faggots do anything else. So I joined the Military.
All the while, I was alone, hurting and hiding, afraid and depressed. And no one cared!
Or for that fact knew…………
I loved my father with all my heart.
September 12, 2012
I HAVE FINALLY FOUND THE COURAGE TO ADD THE FOLLOWING TO THIS STORY:
I would have never, been disrespectful to my parents. But as I sit, reading what I wrote about my father, I now have the courage to do this! I will write a letter to him. I have to say how I felt. It is one of the hardest things I will do in my life.
I loved him so much. But what he didn’t know was that I also hated him. I believe now, that he and mother knew about me, but because of their generation, they denied me.
They hid me away. They didn’t have the courage to accept me, or at least show, love and compassion, in trying to understand who I was!
My father never taught me how to drive. My father never taught me how to fish. My father never got down to my level to try to know me. My father never did anything with me that other children’s fathers did.
He educated me more than school ever did. He educated me with his “Board of Education” (A board of education was a large piece of wood with a handle. Sometimes there were holes drilled into it so there was no air resistance. It was hung on a hook on the wall in the kitchen) I remember being told to grab onto the kitchen table, before I was spanked with it! I used to cry as soon as it came off the hook. And, I trembled as I got ready to be hit. At times, I had to drop my pants, so it was nothing but bare skin. I eventually learned, not to cry, as the pain drove my soul, and spirit deeper inside of me.
Damn that hurt, but it was an accepted form of discipline back in those days.
It was a form of discipline along with “Go out and get me a stick to beat you with”
Each and every time I was hit, I felt inside, that it was because I was a girl, and he tried to drive it into me, not to be a sissy.
My brother always excelled in school and everything else. They always said they were proud of him.. Me on the other hand?, I was their failure. I was their trouble child.
I remember they at times said, what did they do?, to make me that way.
My father’s form of disciplining me was to take away all the things that I liked, including myself. He even unknowingly took away the most precious feeling from me, that I was a girl. I was nothing!
I HAVE TO APOLOGIZE TO EVERYONE READING THIS. I CAN’T CONTINUE WRITING THIS! I AM BEGINNING TO CRY, AND WANT TO SCREAM. THIS JUST HURTS TO MUCH. I AM SORRY!!!!! Jamie Lee