04 October 2007

Memory and Coincidence

September 1st was Mother's 82nd birthday. She's very well, all things considered...
thank you for asking!
One of these days I'll treat you to a comprehensive "Nellie" post, and by showing her sense of humor, give you insights into her son.

But that's for another day...

Mom is now living in a "Luxurious Senior Living" apartment in Pensacola.
It's a beautiful place... Grand Piano and two fireplaces in the foyer, pool, arts and crafts room, library, exercise room, putting green, billiards room...
I hope to live as well if and when I reach that stage in my life. Sometimes she forgets and loses things. Nothing odd about that... she's 82 and most things she's lost turn up later. "Wonder how that got THERE?!"
So I wasn't surprised two days ago when she said, "I've forgotten which unit you were in in Viet Nam. There's a gal here who talks about her son flying helicopters and she said what unit he was in, but I couldn't remember if that was your outfit."

I emailed and reminded her I was at Camp Enari in the 4th Infantry Division with the
"Gambler Guns" my first three months in Viet Nam, then I was infused North to Chu Lai and spent the rest of my tour with the Americal Division and the "Warlords".

The number of American soldiers in Viet Nam reached its' peak in 1969 while I was there... something like 550,000 U.S. Troops. When I came home and some nice grandmotherly type, hearing I had just returned would ask "Did you know my grandson, Bob Smith?", I would smile and just say "No, I don't think so." To her credit, Mom started off acknowledging the chances I'd know her neighbor's son were slim...
"But wouldn't that be a coincidence?!"

Yesterday she emailed:
"She told her son your name and he said, Greybeard? Sure I know him! Prince of a fellow! We went to O.C.S. and Flight School together, and my hooch in Viet Nam was 300 feet from his!"

And when Mom said his name, his face came to mind and the memories flooded in. (OPD, It's Wiggs.)

So, the next time you're forced to look for a needle in a haystack, don't be dismayed...
You MAY prick yourself with the first handful!


John Ruberry said...

Good story

Di said...

Awww...great story!!! HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY to your MOM!!! :))

OlePrairiedog said...

Marvelous Nellie sent me an email and I was glad to hear Wiggs is doing well and told her to pass on Flame and my best. And to send me an email to catch up. Hope he does.

Tell Miss Nellie many happy returns.