My Dad is a really remarkable man. He is still running his own boxwood business (age 82!) which means digging up these hundred-pound shrubs and massive dirt-encased roots. He just put in his humongous garden again- a fulltime job for anyone — and his bulging muscles make me kids laugh every time we go back home. (Here are two scanned photos from about six years ago)
When we were back in NJ two years ago, I scanned a number of important family documents and photos, including the letters that my Dad had written home while he was serving in the infantry in the Korean War. His sister, Ginny, had typed all the letters and put them into a 3-ring binder.
For some reason last week I stumbled across one of the pages and couldn’t stop reading until I’d read to the end. It had been a long time since reading it. (I remember in 7th grade when I had first found the binder I talked to my social studies teacher about how to get it published. I was serious about it!). Reading it again, I was so amazed by this man. I read each page with renewed respect for this soldier– who even in the midst of a crazy war noticed all the beautiful details of his surroundings. Who found reasons to praise God after seemingly senseless days and nights of marching up and down uncleared mountains and digging trenches in hard, rocky ground only to be told to move on quickly.
I wanted to share a short excerpt from his letters — pages 88 and 89. (Please forgive any references that reflect soldier language used sixty years ago during a war; the last paragraph cuts off and is not related to the previous entries). These words paint a wonderful picture of both the challenges of a soldier in that war as well as the perspective that we can choose to have when we are in the midst of any battles of life.