Dad’s Footsteps

by Kim on June 17, 2013

Slide-scan-austin-texas-smallDad was always dancing in our house, whether there was music playing or not. But he certainly danced when Lawrence Welk was on TV or the Grand Ole Opry.  I learned to dance as a kid standing on my Dad’s feet as he waltzed around the room. It was lesson on how to have a good time and to enjoy life. He took every opportunity to show us how.

Dad died at an early age, when I was 25 years old and he was only 60. I can hardly dance now without thinking about my first dance partner and the experience of standing on his feet while he moved around the room . . . he made the dancing easier for me. I could throw my head back and laugh at it all because he concentrated on the moves and paid attention to the music. I just had to hang on tightly.

This summer I am going to Normandy to retrace Dad’s footsteps in WWII. It is in a sense like those first dance steps I took with him. This time instead of being on top of his feet, I study his footsteps, his sacrifice for his country in ways that I can only start to imagine by actually being there and standing on the ground that he fought on. He was only 22 when he fought in Normandy.  He was injured one month into the fighting and fortunately (yes, fortunately) was hospitalized for 2 months. Had he been released earlier – or not injured at all – he would have likely died in Dinant, Belgium at the Muese River where 100% of his company was taken by German fire. He was released from the hospital and returned to the war front in Germany only 2 days after the massacre, to fight for 6 more months in the Huertgen Forest and in the Battle of the Bulge.

I will walk on the hallowed path that my Dad took nearly 69 years ago to better understand the man that was my father. And I will walk on top of his footsteps and appreciate what he did to make it easier for me and others. Again, I will hold on tightly.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: