Tuesday, December 09, 2008

First, The Heavy Stuff

As I was driving to Ben & Tricia's on Sunday, I noticed the Perkins on Santa Fe had it's gigantic flag at half mast. At first I thought maybe somebody important had died that day--or some big thing happened. As it's after Thanksgiving and before Epiphany, I have holiday music going in my car 24/7, and am pretty much out of the news loop... so it was possible I'd missed something big from Saturday.

Then I remembered it was December, and thought maybe it could be for the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor... which was immediately followed by an embarrassing debate about the date of that event. Basically, I always think it's December 11th, for several reasons, the least of which not being that 11th and 7th rhyme.

Anyway, I somehow found the right synapse that was grounded in solid memory, and remembered it was a 1-digit day, not a 2-digit day.

This then led me to think about Uncle Bud, who died at Iwo Jima (I know I've mentioned this elsewhere in this lengthy (and often typographical-error-filled) blog). I was just struck by the notion that 67 years ago, he was... 16, I think. He might have had some inkling that this was going to be a big deal, and he was a young man approaching 18, and the odds were he'd be going off to war...

That then led me to think, "And some number of days later, he was dead."

Which is just a sort of simple thought that my mind finds mind-blowing at times.

So I spent the past couple of days googling different things. First, he's on the internet. How odd is it that you can find my dead uncle on the internet. Not his photo, or his diary or anything. Just his name.

And some other information, it turns out.

I knew the story of his death--at least the one related to mom and the rest of the family by a man who came to see them after the war (or maybe after he was discharged, as I remember Mom saying he had been missing at least a limb or four). He said he was there at the time. Uncle Bud was medical (Pharmacist's Mate, 3rd Class), and didn't have a weapon. When everyone around him was down, he did the country boy thing and threw rocks. And he died.

Less that 1,200 days after Pearl Harbor was bombed. Less than 40 months later.

But, guess what: He's in a book, even! At least, his name is. I have yet to see a copy of the book... maybe there's a picture, but I doubt it. And he's mentioned in a obituary from 2004... and that makes me wish I'd thought to look around on the internet five years or so ago--I could maybe have found someone who knew him while he was overseas.

For a long time, whenever I'd think of Uncle Bud, I'd dream about going to visit Iwo Jima, for reasons I'm not sure I understand.

I probably won't, but it's okay: I found pictures. It looks a lot different than I imagined. I figured it'd all be in black and white. Everything else was back then. As Calvin's father explained in one strip, things used to be in black and white, and then one day everything was in color...

Anyway, that was the first heavy thing. Just a depressing subject to start off a heavy post.

The other thing is a prayer request. I have a friend with what amounts to a brain tumor (or tumors). I'm not going to post a lot here, as I haven't spoken with her about giving names, etc., but you can just say, "Mark's friend with the brain tumor or tumors". God will know who you mean.

They're going to remove some of it (them) on Monday, and they'll know more at that time. Apparently an operation to remove all of it (them) isn't an option, and they need to find out how to treat it (them).

So, a long Iwo Jima obsession posting, followed by a prayer request. I'm here to keep y'all entertained... both of you!

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