As many of you know, Dad had a way of making each of us feel special, like we were the most important thing to him and that he cared for us more than anyone else. He had special songs he would sing with us when we were little or little nicknames he’d give us…mine was Bunky. Of course I knew deep down that he had enough love inside to go around and loved all of us so much. But from as far back as I can remember I cherished any time I could spend with him, especially our one-on-one times.
One memory in particular was when I was about 14 and I went to visit Dad at Ft. Belvoir. I brought my friend Sheree along so most of that visit had to be shared. But one morning, I woke up and saw Dad at the kitchen table putting on his shoes (Sheree and I were sleeping on the living room floor). I asked Dad where he was going and he whispered, “For a walk. You want to come?” Of course I replied yes and hurried to get up. He put his finger to his lips and said “Shhh, don’t wake anyone else”. As we walked, he told me how he liked to go for walks early in the morning, before too many people were out and about. He told me that before the cars started crowding the streets and polluting the air, I should take three deep breaths to fill my lungs with clean air.
I’m sure we talked about so many other things that morning, Dad always had great words of advice, but for some reason, the “3 deep breaths” stayed in my mind. If I find myself out and about early in the morning, or even just thinking of him now, I remember that walk and breathe deep.Laura