La atención a los detalles

Buenas días de Hazleton,

Last night I had an opportunity, thanks to the gift of a ticket, to see the USAF jazz band at the old senior high school in Hazleton, PA. I went with Señor y Señora Galán y Melissa. The ticket was a gift from their other daughter, Mery. The venue was simply outstanding. The music was superb and they played to a full-house. At the end of the event they called attention to veterans of the various services and we were asked to stand when our particular branch’s song was played. It was quite moving as a veteran to be among other veterans. Most of us, myself included, do not really call attention to our service on a regular basis. It is something I did when, as I have previously noted and for all practical purposes, I was still a boy. I sometimes do reflect both on what I did during that time (the same time most young people are now in college) and how it affected me. I would like to say I was an amazing Marine, and while I did do some important things and was even meritoriously promoted, for the most part, I merely did my job. I think of my friend who lost his life, in fact, right next to me. He was a hero, and yes, a19 year old boy like me. I have from time to time felt guilty that I am still here almost 40 years later and he is not. Then I am reminded of a refrain that now rings through my ears on a regular basis: everything happens for a reason. There is only one problem with that statement. I WANT to KNOW the reason and I want to know NOW.

As I sit and write this I am listening to elderly gentlemen speak about the concert. We began to chat about it. That was very cool. After the concert, I went grocery shopping and at this point I try to listen and comprehend what is being spoken (en Español) around me. Unfortunately both because of my (way too) limited vocabulary and limited experience of listening (and the speed of their spoken words) I miss much more than I catch. It is good experience for me nonetheless. I did get a chance to meet some other people last night that might offer more opportunities to work on this acquisition of yet another language. Perhaps I need to start putting in about 4-6 hours a day. That would be helpful. In addition, maybe I need to just take my chances and go to Spain like I had planned. Something to ponder. If I do not, I think I will regret that decision. On the other hand, there is a certain risk in traveling at the moment. As usual, no decision is made in a vacuum.

The paying attention to detail, the title of this post, it something that was a basic tenet of existence in the Marine Corps and something that has never really been far from how I practice my life ever since. It is that attention that might be why I am still alive. As I noted earlier, I still have moments where I remain with a sense of guilt or questioning why it was not me that was killed that day. It is both interesting to consider and then to talk about it a bit after not really thinking, and certainly not talking, about it for a long time. Sometimes I think my life has been merely ordinary, and then there are times I am not so sure. What is ordinary?

Hoy fue otro día en el que tengo la suerte de hacer más recuerdos. Fue un día de compartir con uno de mis hijos sustitutos. Fue un tiempo para hablar de cosas que son importantes y que dan cuenta de la realidad de nuestras vidas individuales. Pasamos todo el día (y la noche) a hablar de una amplia gama de temas. Él es más como una esponja que su hermana. Aunque desde luego empapa las cosas, yo creo que él guarda las cosas para un día de lluvia para reflexionar. Él es más tipo el Pablo Friere’banking ‘en la forma en que recoge y procesa las cosas. Es muy diferente de su hermana. Ella, por su parte, reflexionó y procesos inmediatamente (si es posible, que es el procesamiento antes de que incluso golpea el reino de la realidad). Mientras que él está dispuesto a dejar la mayor parte todo al azar, que es diametralmente de contrario. Sin embargo, hay otras maneras en que usted podría pensar que eran mellizos. Como señalé mucho más temprano en la primavera, su amor por los demás es realmente una alegría para experimentar.

It is now Sunday morning and I am up and out early. In spite of sitting up and chatting until after 1:00 a.m., I was awake at 5:35 a.m.. So I am up and running some errands. I have been asked to remain here today and it is Father’s Day, so I want to get something for Sr. Galán. I also need to reflect a moment, and then some, about my own father, Harry Martin. He would be 99 years old right now, is he were still with us. He was my adopting father, but he never once treated as anything less than his own. I was blessed, and have continued to be so, because he wanted to bring me into his home. Thank you, Dad. I still love you and I miss your indefatigable smile and love; I miss your wisdom and wit; I hope I have made you proud. I think I will stop because I am sitting in McDonalds with tears streaming down my face.

Jordan y Melissa, gracias por permitirme experimentar en cierto modo el don de ser un padre sustituto. Es el más cercano siempre vendré a la comprensión de este día desde el otro lado.

Thanks for reading.

Michael

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