Independence Day

american flag waving

You Never Told Me

We were in the car. You’d just picked me up from soccer practice, and I was looking forward to swimming over the long Fourth of July weekend. Independence Day, you said. It’s why we fly the flag outside the house. And then, the reason I’ve never forgotten that car ride–you told me about the war, and your role.

“You never told me that before.”

Some things are difficult for a man to talk about.

 

We were at a pizza joint, of all places, first time you bought me a beer. You told me how you met Mom. She was the best thing that ever happened, you said.

But you’re not together anymore.

You gazed at your beer. I never knew if you blamed it or borrowed time from it. But finally, you said you’d made a mistake. Paid for it the rest of your life.

“You never told me that before.”

Some things are difficult for a man to explain.

 

Your final night in the home, you told me about me. Told me you were proud. I was about to leave when a nurse stopped me. Encouraged me to stay a little longer. You smiled when I walked back into your room. And then, just before you went to sleep one last time, you said you loved me.

“You never told me that before.”

Some things shouldn’t be so difficult for a man to say.

I’m flying your flag, Dad. I love you more.

 

 

 

If you’re enjoying Independence Day, thank a veteran.

 

 

 

 

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