Farewell the War, Part I
By Richard Mabey Jr.
NOTE: This is the ORIGINAL draft of the opening of the chapter entitled, “Farewell the War” of the book that I have written honoring my dad, tentatively titled I Remember Dad. I am leaning toward taking out this portion, since it is not from the perspective of an event that I would have remembered. Thought I’d share it on my blog.
It all seemed to have been a dream. Dad was standing on the crowded ship. Yet he felt alone. There was in his heart a deep yearning ache, a hurt, much too painful for words. A pain so deep that even the prospect of coming home to Beavertown, New Jersey, could not circumvent the sting in his heart.
The war with Japan was over now. Dad looked at the fading South Pacific island where upon he had spent the last two years of his life. It would be his last look. He would never return again.
Dad thought of his dear friend, whom he left behind, now buried beneath the island sands. Dad wanted to cry, but he kept reminding himself where he was…alone on a crowded ship.
Along the ship’s deck, Dad stood tall and handsome. His light brown hair waved about in the wind of the moving ship. His blue eyes were watered with the dew of the tearing of heart strings…torn by what he had seen, had heard, and had felt on that island.
It all haunted Dad now. He wanted desperately to forget it all. It kept coming back to him. The sounds of guns firing, thundering, the red flames, the pungent odor of blood and death haunted him. Arms torn from shoulders, screams of pain and horror, all of it kept haunting Dad as he stood on the ship’s deck, hoping he could leave it all behind him.
What haunted him worst was a memory so agonizing, so bitterly painful, it began to make his eyes water. That memory was of his buddy, Jim Beck. Jim had been shot in his abdomen. Dad had army crawled to him. Dad held Jim as he profusely bled from his gut. Assuring Jim that it would be alright, Dad saw the sorrow, the fear, the pain in Jim’s eyes.
More to come.