June 19, 2016
On this Sunday, we honor our Fathers as the heroes we can only know. For many of his children he is a memory where his goodness only comes to mind. For many, we mirror his image with hair is now gray or bald. We fondly recall first, the youthful spring in his step when arrived home from his station in life.
2008 ----- 2016
Over time we just never could see the gradual change in his look alone. A Father's face cannot belie decades of his toil some with work available but not one he could aspire. He quietly accepted his role selflessly with his children as first. Barely did we witness the worry late at night as he sat in darkness awaiting our return. A glow from a cigarette gave him away. He advised we sleep now, a discussion for another time.
The unrelenting love he held in heart, bore the constant wear of the years they stood face-to-face of the wind, a downpour of life's challenges, not his own, but the huge crisis looming in the minds of a son and daughter. Our fear was the first day of school or upcoming prom. No matter his stature in size or in life, he remained at the stern reassuring we will reach a peaceful shore. There were the times he held true his faith where safe harbor was nowhere near the horizon.
We owe him honor and love for all the years he gave his all. We did not have all those "things" but an invisible bond and a large part of our heart.
As Americans we look to leaders as fathers, facing strife and victory. That was then, this is now.
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
FIRST ELECTION AS MAYOR, BURLINGTON VERMONT
A FATHER AND FUTURE TO BELIEVE IN
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
JFK - A YOUNG FATHER TAKEN
In Memory of Stanley A. Grzymkowski, an ordinary man & Veteran WWII Pacific Theater
Time never stands still. And we must carry on no matter our personal cross to bear. The years travel as if the speed of Light. It is now decades since that day when our father passed away. He is gone, but never forgotten. I would be remiss to omit the most memorable lesson he taught me.
We were watching on our old Zenith console Martin Luther King Jr. and the huger march on Washington. King delivered the speech that would become his legacy. I believe it was 1960 and there before the Lincoln Memorial before a sea of faces as far as the camera lens could capture, King with no reserve said "I have been to the mountain top" and culminated with "Free at last, thank God almighty I am free at last.
As young as I was, at a distance from the racial strife in our city and without clarity or direction, I was moved by the speech although I was just beginning the importance of the Civil Rights movement. I sat there watching and perhaps looking perplexed.
My father turned to me and what I found to be profound he gave me pause to think.
"There are all kinds of people in this world and we must learn to get along with all of them."
My father's words followed me throughout life. Certainly there were those times when I would react with prejudice if not worse. However, my dad's words always echoed in my mind.
In this year of 2016, we as a people are experiencing the largest divide in our history perhaps since the Civil War. The nation is divided by strife, religion, terror and hate. We are still now reeling from the biggest mass murder in our nation's history.
It is terror and it is hate. We can argue which came first and most influential motive on the part of a deranged young man, native born and afforded the promise of what America can offer. Authorities continue to search for answers, for remedies and how best to handle in the future.
At the same time the families and loved ones of 49 dead and more than 50 are critically injured out of one man's "Hate." The very young were targeted because they are gay. The lives of innocent was snatched in moments to serve irrational thought or distorted belief. It will take a long time for those in Orlando and across the country to overcome their grief.
I find I cannot believe the absolute devastation one man inflicted and while in the act of mass murder he pledged his allegience to an ideology based on madness, godlessness and self righteousness to a degree we have never seen since WWII.
Somehow as one Nation, we survived the horror of the Holocaust, the unspeakable atrocities committed by men who never thought they were capable and the carnage of massive bombings, atomic bomb and millions dead.
The world events spread across the globe speak to increasing horror. I find I can harbor hatred toward our worst enemies.
I remember the words of my father and can only pray that they could be heard with everyone filled with hate.
"There are all kinds of people in this world and we must learn to get along with all of them." Let us never forget Pulse.
God bless you Stan, my hero and dad.