quietus

posted May 6, 2004 by Jeff

Jeff

I cried tonite, for just a minute. See I read the live journal xrys posted. I don't think I ever got it before. not really. It took a cartoon and an old song, but I get it now.

Back in 1989, my granfather sat me down, and in the same manner as always, he told me a story. His stories had sometimes been of Ireland, or Philadelphia, or his father, the boxer, sometimes he told us about the deli he and my grandmother owned, he'd tell me about selling Teddy Roosevelt a newspaper, or the shannanigans my mother got up to with all her 5 sisters and 2 brothers. But this time, this one time he told me about something else, he told me how in early 1944 he was a gunner for the army airforce and they were flying over italy. And every fourth bullet glowed red, and they were called tracers, and every once in a while youd see one whiz by you, zzziip. Enemy fire. And on this mission, a bullet hit a hatch in just the wrong place, it may have been more than one, or the plane may have been damaged previously. Either way this hatch opened, blew off the plane, and when it did my grandfathers best friend Michael was caught by the wind, and he got torn out of the plane, just like that, and he was gone, and he fell to his death over Italy.

I was 8 in 1989. I didn't get it. I remembered the story, and how for the first time in my life I had seen Charlie Guinan cry, just for a minute. My grandfather passed away 6 years ago last month. I didn't think about it until today. He was a great man. I regret only that I was too young to learn all the things he had to teach, about war, about life, about being a man and a husband, and about being a hero.

One day, long from now, when we are old and white and wrinkled, we will look back, and some of us will be unlucky enough to have a story about a friend who never came home. Or a brother, or a husband, a wife, or a son. I don't know what price I would pay to stop that from happening, only because I've never encountered something that was worth that much. Were the moon made of gold I would give it, were my heart the asking price, I would cut it from my chest.

I don't have the answer here. I don't think anybody does. I just have a feeling and a wish. I feel like somethings not right. And I wish that they could all come home tonight, see their children, tell them how much they love them. I wish with every fiber of my being that it was over, that they were home and safe. That's all I have to say about that.