Saturday I went to see Pete, a friend and fellow Marine who I have failed to stay in touch with for at least a decade. A DECADE! Where did the time go? What was so important to neglect this friendship all these years. Marines are not supposed to act like this. Marines ALWAYS take care of their own! On this score I have been a miserable failure. All I can do now is make sure this does not continue. I have to admit if Pete was not battling cancer I may not have taken the time to see him even now. That is a the sad truth. What does that say about me as a friend, a person? I also have to admit that if I hadn't just lost Sheila, the complete and total love of my life, that I also would still be thinking only of myself and not have even made the effort to stay in touch. I must really re-examine what I thought was important in life. All that matters in life is Family and Friends! There is, in the end....nothing else! I can only go forward from here. I will stay in touch and see Pete and Carla more often. I am praying Pete wins this battle with cancer. I know first hand the absolulte fear, uncertainty and sometimes hopelessness of that hell on earth that is cancer!
We met at the Warbirds Air Show and it was just wonderful to see Pete and Carla after so long. They were doing volunteer work in the museum and the concession stand during the air show. We talked of old times, Marine times and these terrible cancer times. I filled them in on Sheila and our fantastic years together and of our adventures. I was wishing so much that they could have got to know her! I met their son Marshall who is going into the Air Force soon. He seemed to be a great young man, squared away and very bright. He will do fantastic in the Air Force and I wish him all the best! Carla's sister Teresa also came out to visit and it was just great to see her again after an even longer period of time lost! Carla and Teresa are sisters to Jody, another Marine that Pete and I served with in the Corps! It was like being with friends who I have seen constantly all these years! I felt at ease with them all from the start and we walked aimlessly among all the old warbirds and talked and reminised. They will never know how much that meant to me, especially now. I have been feeling so lost and directionless without Sheila and though no one will ever fill her place, at least I know there are still people I can lean on from time to time and help me through this! The kindness of family, friends (old and not so old) and even strangers that I have just met at church have kept me from just falling completely apart. I do not have the words to express the love and graditude I feel toward them all. I used to think I never needed anyone's help but I have found that I am no more than a scared little boy since losing Sheila. I wish I had her strength! I feel she is still showing me the way! I just have remember to listen for her.....and she will be there!
Pete.......SEMPER FI MARINE!!