My father was not a sentimental man, nor was he a collector of past memories. I actually had some problems finding enough of his personal items to put on my ancestral altar to fully represent his life. Why then would he have kept a Christmas card from 1951 ? It is a wonderful card though, and very historical. It was given to all the men stationed at Clark Airfield, in the Phillipines, during the Korean War that year. On the front is a village scene, with palm trees, and an old Spanish type church in the background. On the inside cover are listed, in elaborate scroll work, all the different air squadrons based at Clark Field that year. On the opposite page is an invitation to Christmas Dinner at Dining Hall No. 2 for December 25th, 1951. Below this is listed the menu which includes Shrimp Cocktail, Roast Turkey, w/ celery dressing, Baked Virginia Ham, w/pineapple rings, etc....On The back of the card it says, " Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, ( 1951 ). It is a wonderful card, but my father did not even keep his uniform, or his medals from the Korean War , and had no other mementos that I have ever found, yet he kept this card !
I wanted to know so badly what was so important about this card......... and then it hit me like a ton of bricks, he is gone, and I will never know the reason. I held up very well through his wake and funeral, death doesn't phase me much. This card however was a stark reminder that he is gone, and I will not see him again for some time. It made me very sad to be reminded that I will not see him this Yule season. I will not see his wry smile, or hear his muted laugh. ( He was unable to speak after his stroke ) But most of all I will not be able to ask him all the questions that I should have asked him during our lives together. I began to wonder if I thanked him enough for working two jobs his whole life to take care of my mother, my brother, and myself. My father was not a religious man, his family was his religion, and he honored us every day of his life. He never looked to the future, and never allowed himself to dwell on the past. He was a man who lived in the moment, and did what was necessary at that point in time. My Father was not a great man, but he was a very good man, who made all those around him better. And because of a Christmas card from 1951, I will miss him all the more in 2011 !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !