Monday, September 08, 2003

Yesterday, I had the uncanniest thing happen. I was watching a show on PBS about railroads ( I think I was a conductor in another lifetime! ). It was showing the impact the railroads had on the WW11 effort. There was some footage of 3 sailors outside a railcar and one was on the top step smoking a cigarette.
It was more or less a side profile but did show part of his face. I would swear it was my Dad. Do you know how weird that was?
It looked just like he did in his Navy picture. I wasn't born then and by the time I was born and have recollection of him he already had put on a considerable amount of weight.
I never knew him as a thin man. I never saw him thin until he was in his casket. No one had warned me as to how much weight he had lost.
My Dad always looked like he was 9 months pregnant with quintuplets. There was barely enough room for him to sit in his seat and drive; the steering wheel would rub his belly. And it was hard as a rock.
He will be gone 10 years in January.
Seeing that footage for those seconds just brought back so many memories.
How many of us watch these old documentaries and see the people in them but don't associate them with other people?
I remember hearing a lot of the famous photos from the war and after the people were never identified. No one knew the pictures would end up as being historic.
Now I have a son in the Navy. My Dad's profession was a firefighter. My son wants to be a firefighter when he gets out.
He is skinny as a rail. When he got out of basic training he had " bulked up" from 119 lbs to 131!!
I haven't seen him since a year last June so he may have put on a little more. He will be 23 in November.
Of course with the world situation I worry about his welfare but also have put him in God's hands and trust in that.
He serves on the JFK, an aircraft carrier.
As we tell Keisha its a really big boat.
Speaking of JFK I was reading in the online Houston Chronicle that there is going to be another book out about Jackie Kennedy. This one is going to deal with her depression after the assassination. At first I was surprised to learn that she suffered from depression because my image of her from that time period was from the perspective of a 12 year old girl watching this tremendously courageous and stoic mother and wife go through her grief as an example to the country.
She became the benchmark my Dad would always use to rein in our emotions after that. " Be like the Kennedy's".
Now, suffering from my own depressive issues Why am I surprised to learn she suffered from depression?
I would be more concerned had she not.
It reminds me of when I ended up in the nut house after my suicide attempt before being diagnosed as bipolar. All the professionals said to me, " we aren't surprised you are here. What we are surprised at is what took you so long"?
I could well identify with the charecteristics that were given in this article.
I am so grateful that someone has decided to publish her account so more attention will be given to the subject.
I've always said, " until people like me try to educate people like them society will always look at mental illness as it does".

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