He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.
from the hymn,
This is My Father’s World
For most people, the day after their birthday is the unremarkable first day of the march toward the next birthday, a time to write thank you’s to the gracious people who were kind enough to remember your birth as a momentous event.
For me it is a day to also remember the many gifts I was given throughout my life by my father, who slipped quietly away in the early morning hours immediately after my birthday in 1989.
Just the other night, Mr. Wu and I discovered that both of our fathers served in the military during WWII.
Daddy Wu is one of the last surviving members of his unit and served in the Japanese Army. Although a citizen of Taiwan, he like many other young men of his country, was called to service by Japan.
I asked Mr. Wu where his father had served and he answered that he had been stationed in the Philippines. Interestingly, so was my father.
“Oh!”, Mr. Wu exclaimed, “Maybe your daddy and my daddy fought each other.”
And I suppose they did.
We both looked at each other, smiled, and shook our heads; two children of two men who had been in the position of fighting to the death against each other, wondering what their daddies would have made of this moment.
As we continued to talk about their time in the armed forces–his dad in the Japanese army, and mine in the U.S. Air Force, I told him an interesting story about my father and a Japanese flag.
In my next entry, you can read the story, too.
And you will understand why, when I was a small child and my vacation bible school class sang “This is My Father’s World” –I thought we were singing about Daddy.