Monday, May 5, 2014

The Admiral

The man who got me out of the pet store died Sunday.

The Admiral, as we called him, put me in touch with a human resources officer named Mickey who found me a  summer job with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Planning, Management and Budget. The next summer Mickey got me a job at the media office of the Navy's Military Sealift Command, where the Admiral had worked until his retirement a few years earlier.

Actually, I still worked at the pet store a few evenings and Saturdays.

We got to know the Admiral when he and his wife joined a group Mom and Dad are in. It is a Catholic group that brings folks together. I think mostly these days it is a group of friends who get together to talk about their families, their problems, etc.  And not to brag, but I am involved in a lot of Mom and Dad's problems.

He had his own kids and grandkids, but I never felt far from his thoughts.

When one of his daughters got married, it was right around the start of the first Gulf War. Being a military wedding, all the guests were called up to active duty, so the family invited other people. That's how my brother and I wound up at a Navy wedding. It was pretty cool. Plus, the groom nearly killed his bride by stepping on her train when they were up near the altar, which was awesome.

I made some comment to Mom about the military getting a bad reputation or something during the war in Iraq. Soon I had a CD of The Navy's work during some natural disaster to show me the good they do.

We emailed some, and he is a reference on my resume.

I always asked Mom or Dad to say hi to the Admiral at they meetings. Invariably, I'd get "The Admiral says hi" back, even if I forgot to say hi.

Mom told me how he was doing poorly over the past few months, and he recently got breathing and feeding tubes. But he seemed to be doing better.

I wanted to see him, to thank him, to say bye.


Anonymous said...

Nice. I thought the wedding was pretty cool as well, although I don't recall the 'stepping on the train' episode.


Matt Trott said...

It was the best.
I see her walking down from behind the altar when all of a sudden her head jerks backward because he stepped on her train.

That may or may not be right, but it did happen.

To live that day said...

There are always those who leave before we thank them and say goodbye. And sometimes it is their departure that reminds us we had to thank them.

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