Military Man / by Kamie Chang Kahlo

Here's my dad with his movie-star good looks standing in front of his barracks.
Today is my father's birthday. He would have been 89 and as the years have gone by since he died, I have discovered that I miss him less and less because I have found that I feel his presence more and more.

Our conversations haven’t stopped. He still listens attentively as I ramble on. When I ask him a question, he replies. As a teen, he would often look at me as if to say, “I think you already know the answer Kamie.” Indeed I did. I just had to dig a little deeper. I would not have known that if he had not instilled in me a sense of internal strength and reliance of intuition. He is not only present in my memories, he is present in my every day thoughts and decisions.

His photos surround me, his nameplate from the Navy sits atop my desk, his endless stories of military life echo through my mind. All of these things I hadn’t really paid attention to are becoming clearer as I get to know him. My father’s life was so big; it couldn’t be told in one sitting or even through one lifetime with him. His legacy is greater than any sorrow I could carry, any loss I could suffer. I can keep my relationship with him because I am still discovering this amazing man.