My father’s life wasn’t easy
He had worked as a small, young boy
Bringing home milk and vegetables
Instead of buying children’s toys.
He was only seven then
He started working for the church
Exchanging his toil and his time
He never shied away from work.
One of many children
He was known to sacrifice
Never complaining or giving up
He was known for being nice.
As a young man he joined the Navy
Worked his way up the ranks to Chief
Nothing that he wanted then
Seemed to be out of his reach.
The war took him far away from home
It was a sad day when he was captured
The Japanese had invaded the island
Sadly his leg was fractured.
They kept him in a prison camp
Fed only rice, seaweed and tea.
No sugar, cream, or fancy cups
Many men died, were left to bleed.
He saw his share of horrors
Worked hard each and every day
Three years he lived in captivity
Hoping he would someday get away.
While unloading box cars on the tracks
A pat of sugar hit the ground
My dad quickly picked it up
But the sweet powder a guard had found.
A reason to be killed or maimed
The guard looked the other way
My dad let go and prayed that he
Would spare his life that day.
When the war had ended
He was sent on a ship heading home
He met my mom thru family
And one day I was born.
My dad, my inspiration
Never bitter, never sad
Not a ill word had he uttered
Though he was often treated bad.
He once returned to Japan
Where he met the prison guard
The man who had spared his life that day
By never uttering a word.
They wrote for many years to come
Until they both were very old
Both have long since passed away
But their stories are still told.
A bonze star and a purple heart
Among the many of his medals
He really was one of a kind
He was unique, truly quite special.
My father, a man of modest means
Always appreciative and kind
His memory will live on forever
In my heart and in my mind.
Youtube: WHEN IRISH EYES ARE SMILING by Karl Harod.