Yesterday, I wanted to call my dad. It was Memorial Day and I wanted to call him and thank him, like I do on Veteran's Day.
I mentioned it to the children and my son immediately said, "No. Let's not."
I was surprised and asked him why and he said, "Because he doesn't like the war. He doesn't like talking about the war. It makes him sad. I don't want to make him sad."
So we didn't call.
Today, I wish we had called.
Because I know. War is Hell. It's far more Hell than I will ever know. I really hate that my dad hurts, still. Almost forty years later.
But I like even less that my dad doesn't know how much I appreciate his sacrifice so that I can live in a free country.
It's that. It's other things too. Things like the fact that my dad didn't talk about it for years and years...doesn't talk about it now. How he's so much more than a Veteran. How he rescued me, eleven years ago, from a house where I was slowly losing most of my mind and all of my self-esteem.
Ironically? It was Memorial Day weekend.
He was my hero. I didn't know it then, I guess. But he was.
He still is. For so many reasons.
So Happy Memorial Day Dad. I'm proud of you for everything you've done and everything you are.
I'm sorry I didn't say it yesterday. Because I know that even though it still hurts, you need to know.