I got sprung from the hospital Thursday afternoon which allowed me to come home and have dinner next door with my sister, her family, Pam and my parents who had come to town on Memorial Day to spend a week with two of their kids and three of their grand kids. They got some of that and Thursday I was finally able to join them for dinner. It was good.
I was up early Friday morning and went next door to chat with my dad over coffee for a couple of hours before they drove off with my sister, heading to the airport and home. It was a glorious morning here in metroparkcentralis. In light of my recent suffering, people assured me I did not have to carry their bags downstairs since they probably thought me carrying those same bags up the stairs on Monday was what set me off. Hah!
On that note, over the last 40 years my mother never traveled to visit her kids without first stopping at the commissary at Carlisle Barracks or Fort Myer and loading up a bag with 40 pounds of ham, bacon and steaks. She would then fly to visit us in California and leave much less lightly loaded then when she arrived. She always thought we were starving. We never disabused her of that idea since none of us are crazy.
After they left for the airport I dressed and we went to the memorial service for a very old friend of Pam's who died in the same hospital I was in, while I was there. He was a little over 90 and a Navy veteran and I was actually surprised when a Senior Chief and two Petty Officers showed up and took part in the service, as they do. They performed the flag ceremony and the the Senior Chief presented it to our friend on behalf of the President of the United States and a grateful nation. For the first time I heard the sound of Taps played with one of those newfangled electronic horns. It sounded good to me. I've been listening to il Silenzio for so many years I had forgotten the sound of Taps. I have no idea where they found sailors with well fitting Service Dress Whites here but they did an outstanding job.
Our friend was one of the classic Americans of his era and played that same role right up until his death. Not for him the long, slow, painless, slide into the dark. He played golf with his gang until he was 88 and only stopped because he thought he was slowing play and as something of a fanatic golfer all of his life that was anathema to him. We went to his 90th birthday party which seems like just the other day and he was as much in the present as he must have been as a Gunner's Mate on USS Dayton in the Mediterranean.
Fair winds and Following Seas, Bob.