Sunday, June 21, 2015

Still, I wonder.

I wonder what my Dad would be like if he was still living. He died when I was just 5 years old. I have only a few memories of him, mostly happy times, like fishing or beating him in a foot race (I really did think I had beat him fair and square.) or driving the car while sitting in his lap.

My dad, James Kenneth Brasfield, USAF,
sometime before 1957.
My dad was only 35 years old when he died. He was a veteran of the Korean War (aka Korean Conflict) having served in the US Air Force with rank of Airman Second Class. I understand that is equal to E-3 rank, which is same as mine in the Army. (I was Private First Class). My aunts told me he was never the same after the war. I believe he may have suffered from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

He attempted to take his life on multiple occasions before succeeding on November 5, 1973. My mother was pregnant at the time with my baby brother, Jeff. My dad had been hospitalized for treatment associated with his suicidal attempts, making some ceramic items that I recall in the attic of my childhood home.

He is buried in Little Rock National Cemetery, Section 16, Site 506, in Little Rock, Arkansas. I remember the funeral, and the twenty-one gun salute at the grave side service.

My mom remarried when I was thirteen years old, to O'Neal Hardy from Memphis. I was uncertain how my life would change as we moved from N Little Rock, Ar. to Memphis TN a week after they married. I couldn't bring myself to call him "Dad", so I called him "Pop". He's a good man and taught me many things. I am thankful for him.

That move to Memphis seriously rocked my world, set me on a path that lead to where I am today. From Memphis, I came to Knoxville where I met Jilly. I wouldn't change a thing.

Today, I called Pop on the phone to wish him a happy Father's Day.

Still, I wonder...

Happy Father's Day 2015,

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