Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Chance Meeting- A Powerful Lesson

photo: my front porch where stories are told

We had a low key 4th of July this year. The city park is right across the street. So we made our usual rounds to the many booths set up there. The only thing I bought was a Hawaiian Shave Ice (bubble gum flavored, of course).

Later in the evening, my parents came over for Millionaire Pie (see recipe below). As we sat visiting, my dad told about his day at the park. His story brought tears to my eyes and I really believe it's worth repeating. What a lesson for parents, and for children.

As my father sat eating his lunch, a man with his four little boys passed by. The young dad smiled and said, "Hi." He walked a few steps and then turned and walked back to my father. His little boys followed behind him, looking bewildered. My father's WWII cap had caught his eye and he asked if Dad had been in the war.

After a short conversation, the man turned his attention to his children. He explained what it means to be a veteran. Then with their father's encouragement, the little boys each put their little hand out to shake my dad's. And along with the handshake, each little voice said two powerful words, "Thank You." Last in the line was a little boy of about five.

"Did you get hurt?" he asked innocently.

"Just a little," my father replied.

I am sure that the father of those little boys changed the course of his children's lives forever. We'll never know the story behind it, but suffice to say, six people left that short moment in time, changed.

As the daughter of a WWII veteran, I can't tell you how many prayers have been lifted for my father. Sometimes God's answers don't come with a lightening bolt and a booming voice from heaven. Sometimes His answers are far more powerful than that-like this day when the answer came in the form of a small child.

If you see a veteran, please don't pass by. Your words could be the answer. ~Karen


I always find it interesting how foods become forever entwined with memories. This particular story was told to me over Millionaire Pie. So just for fun, here's the recipe;

Millionaire Pie

Mix together:
8 oz cream cheese (softened)
1 cup granulated sugar
1- 20 oz can crushed pineapple (drained)
1- 8 oz container Cool Whip

Pour into graham cracker crust and freeze. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

This story touched me deeply. My father and two of his brothers were in WW II. His youngest brother paid the ultimate price. Whenever I see a veteran I always shake his hand and say thanks. It's the least we can do. I am still trying to figure out how those young men did it.


Karen L. Alaniz said...

Yes, it was such a different generation. My son is now the age that many veterans were when they went off to war. I can't even imagine him being that...mature. He's pretty good at fighting battles on his computer games though. I really just can't imagine! Thank your relatives for me...those who sacraficed and lived gave the ultimate sacrifice too. It's traumatic to survive a war when your buddies didn't. Anyway-thanks for visiting! ~Karen

Barbara Martin said...

This story reminded me of my uncle going to Europe for WWII on a ship from Canada, and a story my second cousin told me about his escape from a POW camp in Germany: an officer in the Germany army had decided he'd had enough of the war, of the lies and terrible things done to the prisoners, that he was able to take my cousin and two others on the train south to Bavaria due to his rank. The officer came from a village in the mountains and would be able to hide his desertion until after the war, and he gave directions to my cousin how to reach Italy (which he did, and was able to return to Canada).

This latter story had a profound effect on me to this day, and your own story brought it back up.

Its so very important to keep the world "free" from those who wish to destroy it.

Barbara Martin said...

By the way, I've linked your blog into my sidebar for other visitors.

Karen L. Alaniz said...

Barbara- Yes, when we tell our stories, and even those of others, hopefully we ignite the stories of others. As I've said many a time, everyone has a story to tell. ~Karen