There are things one does for family and other loved ones. We love hearing stories, even those of ones we’ve lost.

We pay attention, take care of the living and the dead. We take care of our families and our friends even though it may be difficult at times.

I was forced to say a pledge of allegiance as a child and never knew what it meant back then. I said with “liver tea and just us” for all because my parents and teachers just made us say it by rote and didn’t tell us what it meant.

It meant a lot. I swear allegiance to my dead parents, my siblings, my in-laws, Nanny and Steve, and their huge family that has adopted me. I have always sworn allegiance to my country. Dad, who just died last month, was the son of immigrants who left before Hitler and his brown shirts became too powerful and decided to kill people. As immigrants they spoke only German at home.

He rose to be a powerful personality that made change. My brother and I make change, now, in his name. I believe it is in our blood. It is a tough road, with enemies afoot, but worth the fights we choose to wage.

Dad taught me how to fight, verbally;  shy, I did not unleash it until my 30’s. We had a fifty cent weekly allowance as kids so whenever I called my sister dumb I was fined a nickel. Ouch, that hurt!

He also taught me how to play well with others. Being smart and well-schooled didn’t hurt. Now I miss his face, voice, phone calls, counsel, and trinkets from wherever he traveled to remind me of him. He and now my and my brother’s and husband’s families will help protect his legacy. I miss him. Dee



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