of June 14th
Ode to My Father
For the past four years, May has always been a bittersweet
month for me. May 21st marks my father’s departure from Earth even
though his spirit is with me every day. The most important influence
and man in my life was and still is my father, David Alexander. My father
was born and raised in Brunswick, Maine. He was known as a ‘half-breed'
(half Native American and Greek) and lived in the ‘white ghetto’ of
his town. He told me many stories of his favorite poverty meals like
mustard only sandwiches. Then he would tell me more funny and scary stories
about his Native American mother’s form of babysitting which was
tying a rope around his waist then tying him to a tree letting him play
with his shovel and bucket. In high school, my father was the basketball
and track star. After graduation, he escaped his small town by joining
the Army. He always had a ‘Suzie Wong’ fetish and wanted
to marry an Oriental or now politically correct termed, Asian, woman.
He met my mother when he was stationed in Korea and married her. My father
got out of living in the military barracks and my mother got her Green
Card. That is called a ‘win-win’ situation. Let me add, so
my mother doesn’t freak out, that they loved and stayed together
for over 30 years, through the good and bad times.
My father served 20 years in the Army as a Sergeant First
Class and a drill sergeant. My father trained hundreds of men to survive
war and conditioned his children to wake-up for school by turning the
lights on and off in our rooms. My brother and I were well trained that
when we heard our father walking up the stairs at 7 a.m. we jolted out
of bed just so he would not turn those damn lights on and off. That is
just one of the many little details that I miss the most and will always
remember about my father.
Even though my father loved my brother dearly, I was his
favorite since I was so much like him. In fact, my mother always thought
I would go into the Army like my father. She thought wrong. The Army
has too many rules, bad food and exercise for me. In my early 20’s,
he opened up to me about his years in Vietnam. The most shocking fact
for me to realize was that my father actually killed people in Vietnam.
I could never imagine how painful it was for my father to give up his
youth, innocence and risk his life for his country then come back to
his homeland and have these hippies spit on him for wearing his uniform.
However, my father’s favorite city in the world was the most liberal
called San Francisco. He always spoke of San Francisco like a lost love.
He loved the beauty of the city, the food and the great legs women had
from walking the hills in high heels. Ironically, the week before he
passed away, I told him I was moving from New York City to San Francisco.
Today, I live in San Francisco with my lost love.
My father always encouraged me to write and saved every
single high school and college article that was ever published. He lived
through my adventures. My father always told me I could do anything I
wanted and told me that the world is mine to conquer. I am truly blessed
for having a father that loved, supported and encouraged me. He was and
still is the greatest person that ever lived. To me, he truly is ‘Alexander
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