The Forgiveness of a WWII Sailor

In an earlier blog, I praised Old Man Jack for his forgiveness.  It is not possible to write about what he did or saw out on the god-forsaken islands in the Pacific during World War II.  Only he truly knew what was in his soul.

But in spite of his exposure to combat in that very personal and bitter war, Jack’s practice of forgiveness was his most important contribution to the healing of this world.  The world we enjoy today.  I truly believe that.

Old man Jack loved my kids – perhaps his warmth and the forgiveness in his heart will shine through.

Jack was in the hospital often in the last five years of his life. We went as often as we could to say hi.
When Jack was laid up in the hospital and couldn’t make the block party, my kids wrote him a special 4th of July greeting. They wrote “Big Jack” as my son was known as “Little Jack”. Yes, I named my son after old man Jack.
Old man Jack loved it when my Mustang won at car shows. Here are the “two Jacks” in my life. You can see old man Jack’s trademark grin.
We’d sit outside on our front lawn whenever we could… He’d share his sailor’s wisdom (with appropriate restraint) and my kids would smile.
My kids lead the way to one of our breakfasts. Against my wishes, he’d insist on paying for the kids’ chow as well. I could never win.
He loved it when we’d all visit with him in his home. He loved my kids. Imagine that…
My oldest son loves to work on his muscles – as did old man Jack in his youth.

23 thoughts on “The Forgiveness of a WWII Sailor”

  1. Impossible not to love those kids. Look how happy and full of life they are! Beautiful, beautiful. As important as he was, he remains so. It’s lovely.

  2. It is hard to put into words, this thing – for I can sorta ‘see’ what you did for Jack. You gave him a family by opening your hearts up to him – despite your initial dread. I have sort of been in Jack’s shoes a time or two in my life. Long story short, I was sort of ‘adopted’ into a family in my early 20’s who taught me what ‘family’ meant (my own was very dysfunctional to say the least). One of those kids taught me I could be loved. Made a big difference in my life. It was the reason I married my wife – she came with 3 kids, just like my ‘adopted’ family did. (They ended up having a 4th, naming it after me. Poor child, LOL!)

    And old men. I joined a Lodge full of old men when I was young – 17 (1977). IOOF. It had about 50 old guys 50-70 ys old. It was part of a study I was engaged in: learning from old men how to be happy when I got their age. I learned a LOT. The Lodge closed in 2005. LOL – it was part of my preparation for the pursuit of happiness in my life. And I buried a lot of my friends. The last died some years ago.

    So – I know how much this must have meant to Jack to have your and his family as such close friends. To become family with him. For as I have learned through my life – family isn’t so much blood as the ties of love, and with whom you make them.

    1. Thanks for your heartfelt comments once again, sir. I don’t know what I “did” for Jack. It was more of what Jack did for me, I think. But one thing I do know – I felt like I owed him something as an American. I sincerely believe everything we have today is due to people of the Greatest Generation like Jack… And your last comment is so true. Thank you.

  3. This is an absolutely gorgeous post, just beautiful. I saw you reblogged Colleen’s drug etiquette thing. I had no idea she saw so much, riding!

    These pictures are precious & choice. Beautiful.

  4. Koji – You are very fortunate to have had that kind of close, personal relationship with “Old Man Jack”. Too many of us rush through life and dson’t notice the person standing (or running) beside us. This kind of relationship is precious. I’m glad you had the chance.

  5. Each picture is a testimony to love and life. It is obvious that Jack loved and was very proud of your family and proud to be part of your family.

  6. Hey, Koji-san, long time no hear, man! I seem to recall you had a blog on the old TV series: ‘Combat’. got an old friend in the military who was reminiscing this and I thought I’d gift him with some of your stories. Can you help me with this please?

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