"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace. ..
He has made everything beautiful in its time."
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8,11
The circle of life is on my mind tonight...the sound of "Taps" still resonating in my ears...the 21 gun salute...the presentation of the flag permanently etched into my memory.
World War II Vet. Iron Mike. Grandpa.
As a little girl, I gave my Grandfather such a hard time. I would prance around in my pigtails giving everyone in the room hugs and kisses....EXCEPT him. When he would ask for a kiss, I would sharply turn my head, and with eyes closed simply reply in a tiny breathy voice, "I have a headache" as I walked away - Sarah Bernhardt eat your heart out....
oh how it would drive him crazzzzzzzy.
From then on he
endearingly and affectionately
gave me the nickname
"P. I. F."
"Pain In The Foot"
Years have gone by,
and I've gone from that little girl
to a grown woman
who deeply appreciates the man
who loved his family more than anything ~ there's nothing he wouldn't do for them...
who was strong and courageous ~ "Iron Mike" to those who knew him best...
who was blessed with many gifts and talents ~ a remarkable stained glass artist and one who could fix just about anything.
who worked hard - a plumber by trade.
who was fiercely loyal ~ the best friend a man could have.
who was an avid reader - Although he didn't finish school, he believed if you can read, you can teach yourself to do anything, and he proved that. He taught himself to be fluent in several different languages (including Japanese!).
who served his country mightily ~ He lied about his age so that he could enlist. He was one of the men who was dropped down on the beach in Normandy on D-Day and survived...re-enlisted...and was the recipient of 3 purple hearts.
who lived a full life - filled to the brim with many exciting experiences - He always wanted to ride in a rodeo, so he bought a horse, taught himself to ride, and did. He wanted to learn to fly, so he got his pilot's license, and built a plane with his friend, and flew. He waterskiied, golfed, ballroom danced, shot billiards, traveled, and was never afraid to get up in front of a crowd and work the room, and share a song or two while he was at it...
He's been dubbed a cross between John Wayne and Humphrey Bogart...
But to me
he will always and forever be
"the most interestingggg man in the world"
And from this day forward,
when I think of Mike Messinger,
I won't remember how he died,
I will remember HOW HE LIVED....
Michael M. Messinger