Saturday, January 03, 2009

Vietnam stories

Last week, I attended a memorial service for a former coworker and a great guy, Joe Fahy. You can read his news obituary here. Joe died the day before Christmas Eve, and after the service a woman I know told me that she got up on Christmas Eve and walked down the stairs and her Christmas tree lights were on. She is convinced that Joe had something to do with it. My gift from Joe is the story he worked on with me, about my dad. Joe was able to get parts of the story I was unable to get myself because of his empathy and focus and attention to detail.

I was trying to explain some of this to one of Joe's sons when he said, "You must have been really close to your dad." And I told him, I never knew my dad. And I told him I wanted him to know that even though I didn't know his dad all that well, I wanted him to know that he made a positive difference in my life.

So it seems oddly coincidental to me that a week after Joe's memorial service, I ended up meeting a writer and an actor from the TV series "The Ghost Whisperer" at a book signing. I wouldn't have known about the event if it hadn't been for my friend Jean. I got to talk to the writer and actor about the episode about the soldier who was killed in Vietnam. and the son who never knew his soldier father. I wanted them to know from the perspective of a daughter who lost her father in the war, they handled it very well. And that I was in New Hampshire, with another daughter who lost her father in the war, when we turned on the TV and there it was--the pilot episode.

I found the episode in parts on YouTube. Here's a link to the last segment of the episode.

That episode was one of many things that confirmed for me that I needed to go to Vietnam, and I did go for the first time about six months after seeing that.

Since "The Ghost Whisperer" people asked me if I'd read a certain book about a woman who lost her dad in the war in the Cu Chi Tunnels, I know I need to find the book and read it. (Dummy me...I should have just stayed in the bookstore and found it there.)

And I think I know just the place on Polish Hill where I can read it.