"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Sunday, December 22, 2013

If only in my dreams

I missed Elvis' younger days, when he was that dangerous, barely-controlled, hip-shaking singer who made girls swoon with longing and the Establishment quiver in fear and loathing. By the time I knew him, he was firmly under Colonel Parker's thumb, cranking out formulaic movies with forgettable songs (with the exception of Viva, Las Vegas).

No matter. He still pulls my heartstrings when he sings this.

Perhaps I'm thinking of all those men and women in the military who will not be home for Christmas, and I want to weep for their moms and dads and spouses who have to be strong and enjoy their holidays somehow.

It reminds me of a couple I know. The guy was a Marine during the Vietnam War. Did two tours. When he was at last home, he hadn't seen his two-year old daughter since she was an infant. That first night, his wife told their daughter to go give Daddy a kiss goodnight, and his daughter went over and kissed his picture on the table.


I asked Louise how she managed, with her hubby gone for so much time. "You just do it," she told me. "You don't ever ask yourself how you're going to get it done."

To the men and women serving our country, consider this a cyber-salute. Merry Christmas, and come home soon.

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