March 14, 2015 - As you can see by the date of this post, it has been almost exactly 4 years since I wrote it. It's hard to believe that this old gentleman has left. He spent the past three years in a nursing facility, and decided it was time to go this past Sunday, March 8, 2015. He went very quickly, and the Hospice nurses assured me he was in no pain and went peacefully. Four of them were in the room with him. I got a call that morning to let me know he had taken a turn for the worse, and two hours later he was gone.
|Marilyn and Jarvis Moragne, 2011|
Recently I spent a few days with my dad in Mineral Wells. We had a great visit, and of course, I went to the VFW and the American Legion posts with him. We ate, visited with all his friends, and had a generally good time. Dad was kind enough to dance with a little girl there, and she did a good job of keeping up with him. She asked him to dance, as he's a favorite with all the ladies of any age! 92 - and he hasn't slowed down much. Check out the little red shoes she was wearing. Maybe they were magic like Dorothy's - in case she wanted to go home quickly.
At the VFW there was a memorial to POWs and MIAs (You Are Not Forgotten) in foreign wars. A place was set for them, and a candle lit, with lovely memorials framed in their honor.
|Old soldiers also have a great sense of humor!|
|Jarvis Moragne, Age 5|
When Dad was about the age in this photo, he was staying at his grandparents' home in Mississippi. During my visit with him he started to reminisce about his stay there. He described their home and the land behind it that stretched to a wealthy family's property at the top of a distant hill. There was a big two-story house with a garage beside it that was open at each end. Behind the house and garage were the barn and stables. One day the owner of that property came to visit them with his gentlest horse, named Bob. He asked if my dad wanted to ride him. Oh, boy! Did he ever! Dad's eyes sparkled as he was telling me this. He seemed to be back there in time, with all the exciting emotions of that five-year-old getting ready to ride a horse for the first time.
As soon as they placed Dad on top of old Bob's bare back and handed him the reins, old Bob took off at a great speed. Dad said he was scared to death, and hung on for dear life, yelling "Whoa, whoa, whoa!" the entire time. But Bob didn't "whoa"! He was headed for home at a fast pace. When they reached the top of the hill Bob jumped the fence and headed for the garage. Dad ducked his head as they raced through the garage, heading for the barn, which was Bob's destination, and finally came to a halt.
Dad was laughing at his recollection, and said he never did care much for horseback riding after that!
As this was such a sweet remembrance, I didn't press Dad for more of his stories from World War II. He was not your typical idea of a soldier at war. I am thankful that he was late getting into the battles. He was a paratrooper sent to Okinawa on a cleanup operation. The Japanese surrendered while he was there and he was sent to Japan. Maybe the next visit I will ask more questions about his days in service.
Here are a few of my Dad's many friends. They have been instrumental in keeping my dad active, youthful, and happy through the many years of their friendships. (By the way, Joe and Virginia have been married almost 60 years, and they are still the cutest couple on the dance floor! Unless, of course, Dad is on the dance floor!)