Sam Burnham, Curator
As I’m writing this I’m sipping coffee from my new US Navy mug and occasionally gazing over to take in a bit of the military honor guard posted at the casket of President George H.W. Bush as he lies in state in the Capitol rotunda.
I havent written much lately. Oh, we’ve updated ABG CFB but that stuff writes itself. I haven’t written here. It’s been a week since I dropped my oldest son off in Atlanta to ship to Great Lakes, Illinois for Navy boot camp. Somewhere in that experience I fell into a funk. It sapped my creativity and left me feeling a bit blue. Some time today that realization hit me. I gotta get my mind right, gotta get back on track. So that’s what I’m doing here.
I have had the blessing and honor of raising three of my heroes. The fact that my oldest will now be seen as a hero in the minds of many Americans is not lost on me. He has overcome a lot to wind up where he is. But he sees this as a calling, a duty that was his to carry out, so he signed up. I could not be more proud.
But with that pride comes sacrifice. I already miss the sound of his footsteps coming down the stairs. I miss sitting at dinner and seeing him across the table from me. I miss him sitting in the living room in the evening and asking me questions about any number of topics. And in this period of no communication, I miss just knowing how his day went.
No doubt he’s entered a new stage of life. As he steps into adulthood, there will be days I dong hear from him. That’s how life works. It’s early in this phase and it’s easy for me to still see that little boy with the chubby cheeks and the love of deep blue water. What he really is is a strong and fit man who is off on his own and proving to Uncle Sam that he deserves to serve in his Navy as a sailor.
So now I stand up. Now I do what over 200 years of Navy dads have done. I brush off despair and I move forward. I finish raising his brothers, continue caring for his mother, and I prepare to attend Pass In Review where I will see him again, this time clothed in the uniform he’s dreamed of since childhood. And that thought makes me happy.
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire