There lies a picture on the mantle of my grandfather, my step-father's father, clad in U.S. Navy fatigues and grinning slightly, almost a smirk. The year is 1960-something as he enlists for Vietnam and is shipped overseas on the USS Corral Sea to load sidewinders into fighter planes that ignite and ****. It happens so fast.
It happened so fast. Two months of time reduced to blinks and minute-long visits. This house could be cold as Mt. Meru's peak and I would hardly notice. The brain has ways of placing things on autopilot.
His life has come to pass and I am left to wonder. I am not sure I ever truly knew the man. I heard stories, his helicopter shot down in Vietnam, his E&E; north of the ** Chi Minh and how he owned a gun shop on Main St. in the town I came to call home before it was my home. I cannot hear his whispering, small wind of existence sidewinding away from me and my youthfulness. In small time I've come to find life is meaningful if you take time to make it so.
The day of his funeral is beautiful, sunny and mild and full of breeze. The gas tank of my mother's car is close to empty and I am worried of worldly things, will we make it and when can we fill up again. 21 guns gives my heart a needed beating.