Only his glowing cigarette tip revealed his location. In silence and alone, often in darkness, he’d slump in his velour recliner, drink and be lost in thoughts he wouldn’t share. This was how dad avoided the headlines when Memorial Day rolled around.
Newspaper commemoratives were left unread and when TV or radio announced the day, you held your breath until it passed. You knew not to bring it up, but to enable the denial of what had past and what was left undone. The pain was great enough to silence a man known for vocal rage.