My daughter Bethany is in Korea right now and today I got an email from her. How I loved it while I was reading her words that so sounded like my girl. Her Grandma Perkie baked her some cookies and they finally arrived. Some of the things that I have been sending her was also in the mail drop and she was so grateful. Sometimes I complain about this computer but today I am so thankful for it. It is a lifeline to my daughter so many miles away and technology is something that I take for granted but won’t after today. On Mothers Day at two o’clock in the morning I and her dad heard her sweet voice. She apologized for calling so late and for a while I thought I was dreaming. She sounded like she was here in the States. I couldn’t sleep for hours after we talked those few minutes.I cried and cried like I do when my kids are involved and my heart was full of so many emotions.It was such a gift for me on Mothers Day and I needed that because sometimes I don’t know if I am a very good mother.Sometimes I wonder if I make good choices when it comes to my kids but that phone call made me feel so appreciated at that moment. It was truly a gift for a worn out mama.
My Beth is a woman of the utmost in family and I am so proud of her. Smiling comes easy as I think of how different her dad and my conversations were with her. I was asking about how people treated her,about the food,and how she was feeling and she was asking about her nieces and nephews and her grandma and how she is sending them gifts from Korea. I told her about how my Dad was a paratrooper in the Korean War and was on Pork Chop Hill.
Her dad on the other hand was wanting to know exactly where she was and where she would be going.She couldn’t tell him a lot but that she would let us know as she could. He was popping out questions like the grandkids before a party. The love in his voice was so thick that it was hard for me to listen to. He is a man that loves hard when it comes to his kids and I wondered what that was like because my dad was taken from my sisters and me when we were little and never knew him as adult women. Would Daddy be proud of us and how we turned out? How different would our lives have been if he wasn’t taken away from us? Some day I will ask why he made it home from war just to be killed in a car accident leaving five little girls and a wife not out of her twenties all alone.
My dad was one of the paratroopers that landed on Pork Chop Hill.That is him on the left.I think he is so handsome in this picture. I googled it and spent half the morning reading about it. So many soldiers were lost and I felt so sad. I don’t know much about war I admit but seeing some of the things my dad was a part of was an emotional roller coaster for me. A young man like my Beth is a young woman so far from home. I wonder if their footsteps felt any of the same path. To think that my daughter and my dad were in this place in the military is something I have never thought about. I hope he knows about Beth because he would love her. She is like him even though she has never met him. Like my dad Beth loves her family intensely. She loves to laugh like he did. They both rode a ship to Korea though their jobs were very different.He told my grandma all he did on that ship was peel potatoes. Beth on the other hand tells me she works twelve hours a day and is very busy. Both soldiers,yet one a man and one a woman both connected by a family that loves them so even though they never met. I get reassuring words from Beth about how safe she is just like my Grandma Hahn did from Dad. His letters to her were always upbeat and Beth is too.
I told her on the phone that night how Dad fell in love with a Korean girl but her parents wouldn’t let her come home to the states with him. It’s probably for the best because he fell in love with my mom the first time he laid eyes on her after he got home. My mom jokes about how different we girls would look if that Korean woman would have been our mother. I can’t even imagine. I guess it’s funny how things work out sometimes and maybe he was heart broken when he left without her but I believe God knew that her life would have been so hard after he was killed here with all her family in Korea. I hope she is a happily married woman and that her life is good. If I could give her a message I would tell her thank you for caring about my dad and that we loved him so.
As always I would like to leave my grandkids with this. Footsteps are something we make on this walk of life. They sometimes take us far away from home but you never know when God will connect them from something in the past and your family can be entwined in ways you can’t even fathom.The future is a wonderful thing but sometimes looking at those footsteps from the past can bring you joy. I know it did me today. I feel that my dad and my daughter,two of the most wonderful people that you could ever meet,are part of these footsteps.Like my friend JoAnn said to Bethy in her message I salute you.
Carry on soldier and God’s blessings.
I have told you about our little Love Nest in Sebewaing that I loved and after Mom had four kids in that little one bedroom garage turned house we moved.My sister Linette was the baby and not quite a month old.About this time Mom’s Dad my Grandpa Jahr bought a farm and it had a HUGE sand brick house on it.He would pay us and we could live there for free if we did the chores and fed the feeder cattle or pigs which ever Grandpa was getting ready for the stock market at the time.I was pitching silage with Mom and Dad before I was eight years old.It has both good and bad memories attached to it and I try to focus on the the good.
The house had four big bedrooms upstairs and one downstairs.We turned a parlor into another bedroom so there was two bedrooms to sleep in downstairs.We girls slept in the bedroom and Mom and Daddy slept in the parlor.The first summer we saw the place before we even moved in my mom and grandma were hoeing the fields of that farm.They would have us take naps in the cool of the house in the afternoon with Grandma’s famous green sponge things we slept on that my sister Linette has commented on.Two girls in a closet,I guess for darkness and two in the room we would later use as our living room.I remember one time Linette and I were in the closet and we heard a like buzzing sound and then the smell of burnt wires.It seems that Lori stuck something in a outlet socket and we shorted out something.I was scared to death and knew we were in trouble.It wasn’t long before Grandma came in and started snooping around saying what happened.I was glad it was her because she never spanked and got everything under control.
It was here that the last of the little Hahn girls made her appearance and here she is with Linda and Lori.I love this picture of her and as you can see Linda is holding her hand.She always was Linda’s baby.We always had the babies with us even before they could walk.We played in that big yard and pretended with our cousins all the time.
We had this stroller thing and the babies were always in it being pushed around.I don’t know where that thing came from but we racked up miles and miles pushing our little sisters.This is our dog Tippy that I tried to train like Grandma Jahr did her dogs but I was never any good at it.We lost more dogs at that house because it was on a very busy road and there was a chicken coop across from us that the dogs always wanted to go to.We never had a refrigerator in that house just the big freezer so we always put our milk in between the door and the screen door in the winter to keep it cold and Mom would freeze and unthaw from the freezer in the summer.One time Grandpa gave Mom some money for feeding the cattle and she gave it to Daddy to go by a used refrigerator from one of his friends that had a gas station in town.She wasn’t very happy that he brought us back a little dog instead of the fridge.There was some words, I remember, but that was Dad.We loved that little dog.I finally had a dog that could do tricks and climb ladders and everything.Her name was Mitzy and we just adored her.Before the end of the summer she was killed on that crazy road down by the corner and I saw her.Daddy and I went down and got the little dog to bury and I remember him being as sad as I was.He took me in his arms and just let me sob and he cried too because I was so sad.You know I can almost feel his arms around me right now as I think of it.I guess there are some things that never leave you and that day was one of them.He hated to see us cry and when one of the animals died it was horrible.This reminds me of our cat Joey that we had in Sebewaing.I was looking for it in the winter and couldn’t find it so I told Daddy.We went hunting outside and found that cat frozen in our shed out back.I begged Daddy to put in on the stove to thaw it out and I remember Mom and him being so sad telling me that we couldn’t do that.Mom remembers that day too and her smile when we said the same words at the same time I will treasure.
That house gave me many things,my last Hahn sister that I love,many fun times with our cousins there(remember the Deeg boys)and it also brought me much unhappiness.I refuse to let the bad take over my memories.I have much to be thankful for.I know that my stepfathers were horrible to us five girls but you know what,Ward trumped them all.He gave me back my childhood memories and I hope he knows it.His childhood was terrible too and he never treated me with anything but kindness and I will treasure his memory like I do my LBS(life before stepfathers).I love my sisters and all that Ward gave me.I hope he is in Heaven telling my dad what good girls that we turned out to be.Thank you God for giving me a dad and a mom that loved me and for Ward.You have given me much Lord and I hope that I can give it to someone in return.God bless my family,warts and all.
I got up yesterday morning and while surfing the web found out that Richard Dawson passed away.He may not have been a huge TV star but he sure conjured up a lot of memories for me.Most of us remember him from the Family Feud game show,which I might add was one of my favorites,and even before that The Match Game, but I most remember him from back rubbing days when he was on Hogan’s Heroes.
This guy,my dad,Daddy to a seven year old girl back then, loved that show.Richard played Corporal Peter Newkirk and my dad would laugh as he watched that show with five little tiny girls crawling all over him.I realize now why all of my kids and grandkids love to be messed with,it’s a family trait from way back.My mom would be in her bedroom reading and as long as we rubbed Daddy’s back we could stay. He would lay on the floor in front of the TV and us all over him.The TV, just a small thing with rabbit ears back then but oh how we loved it and even more so with our dad on the floor.
There were times my mom would holler “Chuck,It’s time for the girls to go to bed.”I would wait holding my breath thinking maybe this time he would make us go,but he never did.Sometimes I would pretend to fall asleep just so he would carry me to bed.
He loved to be with his little girls.I do believe Linda was his favorite because he felt bad because Grandma Jahr always favored me.He loved us all though and he never got sick of us.Mom deserved a few minutes of peace because she stayed home with us while he worked and was probably half nuts dealing with five kids under the age of eight.I can’t even imagine.
I looked up Hogan’s Heroes and then I remembered McHale’s Navy another show he would crack up at.His laughter is a thing I would like to hear again because I don’t remember what it sounded like or even his voice anymore.
What I do know is this.Some people are in your life only a short time and like it or not that is all you get.So Richard Dawson hopefully my Daddy gets to meet you in person.I know he will be laughing because that is what he does.I hope time really does come full circle because you gave him much enjoyment with five little girls all over his back.So Richard,thanks for the memories today and God’s speed to your final destination.