At Zaragoza AB, Spain, I had been writing songs in my spare time on the base chapel’s piano, and after cutting my tendon I continued composing with one hand – always remembering that I had lost the use of my left hand for a while due to my own selfish pride.
Now I was back in Monzelfeld with my wife and son, and trying my best to do everything one handed for the next month or so – including writing songs and pondering my injury in the Zaragoza AB, O’Club; here David stands on the sidewalk in the spring sunshine in front of our house.
The 10th TFS had an official function and party at the Zaragoza AB O’Club, which included spontaneous skits to be performed according to rank by the squadron’s pilots – a humorous way to blow off some steam while TDY; in this picture David squints into the sunshine in front of our house.
I was in the captain’s group for our skit, and as we were an unimaginative bunch – it was determined that we would build a human pyramid with all the pilots in our group stacked up on all fours; in this picture David stands in the living room window with the spring tulips lining the flower bed behind our house in Monzelfeld.
So with a couple of beers in me, and 3 or 4 layers of pilots wobbling back and forth on hands and knees trying not to collapse the pyramid to the floor – I climbed up to the top row to complete it; this photo shows the new spring growth as it emerges in the forest around our house.
Once on top of this wobbling and soon to collapse human pyramid of pilots in their flight suits, my pride dictated that I should balance on my knees alone on top of the pyramid and throw my hands up above me in victory – having completed the pyramid like the star on the top of a Christmas tree.
As I began to throw my hands high over my head in a precarious kneeling position atop the pyramid, I lost complete situational awareness (SA) of what was around me – and didn’t recall that there was a large, heavy wrought iron chandelier hanging from the ceiling directly above my head.
The tendon of my left index finger struck the sharp edge of the wrought iron chandelier with full force directly above my knuckle – cutting the tendon through to the bone – and sending me to the emergency room downtown Zaragoza…where they had to call in the Chief Surgeon to complete the tendon repair, after the first doctor couldn’t find the upper half of the tendon that had retracted back into my hand.
Meanwhile back in Monzelfeld, the forest was putting out new fresh spring growth, after I had pruned all of the deadwood out of it during the previous fall and winter; the forest was my pride and joy, as gardening always reminded me of how God tends to and sustains His creation – including us – by pruning our own deadwood away as well.
You could now stand in the narrow forest surrounding the property, and look down the three rows of young trees that now had plenty of open space to let the sunlight and fresh air in – something we all need in life – a breath of fresh air and sunshine on our face…and trees are no different.
David stands in front of the living room’s sliding glass doors, where just outside the glass the tulips are all heralding the beginning of spring – which always reminds us of the opportunity for new and fresh starts in our own lives – because a little spring cleaning is very good for the soul.
From an early age we’ve always said that David belongs in the theater, and here is a look into that side of his life which was very animated and theatrical…a trait that is to be admired in children for its honesty, spontaneity and lack of conformity.
My wife’s father and David’s “Opa” enjoys the comforting heat of the tiled wood stove and a cup of coffee at the kitchen table in Monzelfeld; he was a calming presence in the often hectic events of our family.
My wife’s grandmother, and David’s great-grandmother, sits on the couch and crochets a tablecloth – a hobby shared by all of the women in my wife’s family – and a common practice in Germany at that time.
David excitedly shows off the castle he had just built out of plastic Duplo blocks – the creativity of young children remains outside the box of cultural expectations and conformity, until the expectations of society frown upon anything outside the narrow boundaries of approved and expected behavior – especially for boys.
David plays with another unique castle creation of his made out of Duplo blocks, along with a couple of Matchbox cars from his collection on the living room’s tile floor in our home in Monzelfeld.
David demonstrates just how tall his Duplo skyscraper is – which was designed to be the tallest free standing tower possible with the limited number of plastic building blocks available to him.
All parents realize that their children will grow up and be on their own one day, so the precious few moments that you still have with them while they are little are very precious indeed – and need to be cherished while they can – which also applies to all of our other relationships as well.