My parents married in 1942, while my father was going through Army Basic Training. I was born shortly before Dad was shipped off to serve in World War II, and he met me for the first time during a short leave. I’m told I cried night and day while he was home—not a good first impression!
When the war ended and Dad returned, my life changed dramatically. I didn’t know this man who moved in with us, and stayed. And soon, I had to share my mom not only with the stranger but with little brothers and sisters as well.
I was really close to Mom, but Dad was another story. The more I tried to please him, the less loved and accepted I felt. The younger kids were Dad’s favorites, it seemed to me, because he was around when they were born and growing up.
Over the years, I came to realize that this returning soldier was probably a bit of a stranger to Mom also. Dad seldom spoke of the horrors he experienced on the battlefields of Europe, but I learned later that he had served in the medical corps—racing into combat…
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