Sunday, November 16, 2014

I really wanted a Penguin

Dad was stationed on the USS Essex, an aircraft carrier, in 1965. I don't know if the home port was Newport, Rhode Island, but that's where Dad shipped out from. Those sort of details are murky when you're in the second and third grades. We lived in North Kingston, RI next door to Mr. Mancini, mentioned in a previous post.  Timothy Charles Bernhardt, my youngest brother, was born in the Naval Hospital in Newport, RI in 1965.

Dad was scheduled to go to the Antarctica on the Essex. When he originally told us about it, he mentioned he would bring me a penguin.

Never tell a second-grade boy that you will bring him a penguin unless you mean it. FYI

Since Mom was pregnant, Dad stayed home instead of going on the trip to Antarctica on the Essex. Instead of a penguin, I got another little brother.

Tim is the one smiling in the background.
I was brokenhearted. I really wanted a penguin.

I'm brokenhearted again. Right now, I'd trade all the penguins in the world to get my little brother back.

Life was too hard for Tim to bear and he died today of a broken heart. He left broken hearts behind.

In some ways, Tim was the best of my Mother's sons.