This last week of October is a time of somber reflection for my brothers and I. Dad died October 28th, 2005; Mom on November 1st, 2019. An important date in our home long before their passing was always October 24th.
Dad was on the USS Princeton (CVL-23) on October 24th, 1944 when a Japanese bomb struck a fatal blow and the ship sank. That day had a lot to do with the culture in our home. Dad told interesting stories about his experiences on that battle-scarred aircraft carrier.
By 1944, the Princeton had been involved in many of the biggest battles of the war. Towards the end, her men were tired. They had seen too much death and been gone from home too long. Weariness spawned mistrust and unrest. It seemed the Navy was confused. They would be going full speed north one week, just to turn around and head south the next. The men were grumbling. They wondered if Admiral Nimitz knew what was happening. Was Admiral Halsey lost?
Like many, Dad came home, married, got a job, raised a family and did his part to rebuild a nation. All without complaining or begging for others to hear his story, feel his pain or pay him for his loss.
Years after the war Dad saw the book, “Battle of Leyte Gulf.” Since that was where his ship was sunk, he bought it to see if the author had done good research. What he found in the pages of that book answered questions the Princeton men had long before. In the context of history, he read why they went where they did, when they did. Nimitz knew what was going on, and Halsey wasn’t lost. Those tangled voyages that seemed misguided, now had a narrative to explain each twist and turn.
Think About it
Dad often spoke about that lesson; comparing life to war experiences.
Sometimes that job we thought was right, doesn’t happen; that position we thought was ours goes to someone else; that healing we prayed for doesn’t happen; that child doesn’t come along. We wonder if God is really there. If so, does He see or care?
As a nation, 2020 hasn’t gone like we envisioned for the year of perfect vision.
We may not understand these things, but He knows what is going on and He is not lost.
Having a healthy life perspective helps you deal with those who don’t.