Tuesday, November 18, 2014

R.I.P Pop: A Rough Year for The Sons of The Black Cat Squadron

Lt.JG Phillip K. Resh, United States Navy, Naval Aviator.
Reunited with his Squadron on 9-01-14

("Don't call me a pilot. I'm an Aviator. Pilots only land on land, Aviators have to be able to also land on a postage stamp in the middle of the ocean.") Lt. P. K. Resh USN.

Pop with two of his boys swapping veterans stories. Mark (on right) and Pop especially enjoyed talking about their flying experiences. 

 Pop's last fathers day. He told us he was honored ALL of us made it. Even brother in the black vest made it all the way on two wheels from Washington State. We all always thought Pop would always be around. I'm lucky I guess, I have a picture my wife took at fathers day when he opened my card, in it I wrote; Happy Fathers day Pop. I'm proud to be your son. With a twinkle in his eye he had told me when I called him Pop, "Mark always calls me that...I like it."

Mom and Pop's dogs, Pop asked our oldest brother from Washington if he would take the dogs because he wanted to be sure they had a good life. They are Lucy on the left and Evie on the right. My wife and I kept them for a month until flying them out to Seattle. My wife kept telling me the whole time to not get attached. She cried all day when we headed to the airport with them.

Pop's uniform, I have them all and his ribbons and wings. We found out he is still owed his Korean Conflict Medal after all these years. I just have to find out how to obtain it for our mother.

Pop's wings he so proudly wore.
Black Cat Squadron Patch
Pop's final resting place.

On his last day, I was back home in NC planning to go back the next weekend, one of my brothers was on his way back later after being there several days. My oldest brother called me a little after 4 p.m and gave me the news...I was devastated even though I knew the time was near. Our brother on the road, half way home, was notified Pop had taken a turn for the worse, he turned around and hauled back. People were at home with our mother, sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews and one of our other brothers. Our mother had been watching the kids toss a Frisbee around in the yard and told my sister that it was the first day in a long time she had felt calm and relaxed. The sky was clear and blue with no clouds, they all said. Suddenly there was a large cracking, booming bolt of lightening that shook the whole house, the kitchen light over the table our mother was watching out the window from surrounded by family, turned very bright then burned out just as the phone rang. Pop had passed the nurse said.

Pop was a fighter all to the end. He told my son once "I never fired one shot in anger," he said holding up his index finger while leaning in close to my son, "I did my duty, but never a shot fired in anger."
Mother gave me a huge file my father had kept, reading it made me proud to know how hard he fought not only for his country but for his whole family.

We all still have to take care of everything with the house, only one of us still lives in the state, the rest of us are scattered about from one coast to the other. My wife and I went down in October to get a few items mom wanted us to go ahead and get, - Mom is in Maine now with one of our sisters and her family. -  but being in the house it just feels like, I don't know, very empty. No Pop, no mom, no dogs, it's just a shell of what use to be, the love, the laughter, the reassurances, the encouraging words, the warmth that congregated there is not there anymore. The home that was always home and felt like home no matter how long you had been gone, it's no longer. No more Fathers days , no more mothers days or birthdays, thanksgivings or mother and Pops favorite time of year, Christmas. They loved Christmas season, they planned on it all year. Not because of presents to receive, but everything else. They loved this wooden tree I made them for the yard years ago that had a gazillion lights on it, Pop put it out every year. Kids and adults alike looked for it each year, the little ones said they new Christmas was coming when Pop would put out the tree. He would stand outside with them or go out if somebody stopped while walking and chit chat. Kids loved him and his tree.
The house now, I can't explain it. It's cold and sad and lonely. The house yearns for some new kids, a new family to raise and shelter.

I guess you can see why I have not been around here much. The whole year has been touch and go, back and forth to Georgia. I don't regret any of the travel, it gave me time with Pop and mom. 


mq01 said...

i lost a parent recently too. i can imagine what you're going through. im sorry for your loss, wooley. sending thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

Dar said...

Wooley I'm sorry for your loss.

Arizona Harley Dude said...

Very sorry for your loss Wooley! Your Pop sounds like a great man. May he RIP and the family remember the good times.

Trobairitz said...

A sad time for you to be sure. Our thoughts and hearts are with you. So hard to lose a parent.

Big hugs to you and your wife.

WooleyBugger said...

mq01, Thank you and sorry for your loss too. I know I was in shock that day.

Thank you, hope all is well in your area.

Arizona Harley Dude,
He was a pretty good Pop, we didn't always agree but none the less he was a well liked man by most. We are beginning to be able to share stories now and laugh at the best times.

Thank you for the condolences. It was a long hard goodbye because he fought going so hard. It was a beautiful military funeral with taps being played by the bugler on a small hill just off to our left and a single jet flyby my wife pointed out to me.

Garry Parker said...

My family to getting me these Bohn Armor Pants for Christmas, nice protection. It even has a $25 of Bohn gear just for ordering!! www.BohnGear.com

Webster World said...

Very nice.