Early yesterday evening, as I went to visit my parents, my Dad (Willis "Woody" Theodore Kump) was sitting alone and close to the front door of their Falling Waters, West Virginia apartment. (Mom was out for a brief visit with a close family friend)
Dad anxiously was waiting for my younger brother David (born in 1971) and the news about his big new promotional opportunity at his workplace.
My brother's close proximity to my parents, as both their landlord and next door neighbor, has been a tremendous blessing for them.
Although his mind still is sharp, Dad now largely is homebound and not able to move about to any great extent.
Born in 1927, he now is frail with myriad health problems, and his daily routine mostly consists of sitting in his favorite chair while reading or watching television and closely following the events of the day.
Mom (Betty Ann Steinbach Kump) does her best as his primary caregiver, without complaint.
They've been married since January,1947.
When I still was a young boy, one of Dad's books, a training manual for Navy pilots, prompted me to ask him about it.
He told me that he dreamed of being a Navy pilot when he graduated from High School in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, but when he enlisted, those hopes were dashed.
World War II was drawing to a close at that time, and the Navy no longer was accepting candidates for its flight schools.
He spent his enlistment on a Fleet Oiler (U.S.S. Monongahela AO42) in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
He still remembers when his ship was docked at Bahrein, and taking a swim in the Persian Gulf.
One of the souvenirs he brought home from the Far East is a King Ebony carving of a lion, with ivory insets for the eyes, teeth, and claws.
His Dad (Edgar Rudolph Kump, December 5, 1905-December 4, 1989) fashioned it into a lamp, now somewhat battered and worn, but sitting proudly upon my desk as I type this entry.