For today, Saturday:
Sherry went up to see Vernon Friday afternoon. She came home with bad news; it didn’t appear he had much longer.
Just a few hours later, Tina called and said her dad had passed.
I talked (via messenger) to Rick in Saudi, and he had already been informed that his dad did not have long. With flights mostly cancelled by the Saudi Government, and the quarantine required on arrival in the USA his being here will be impossible.
Losing a loved one is always tragic, but during this Pandemic it has been made worse.
Small things catch the eye of us from military back ground. Tonight I kissed my hero on his cold forehead and held his hand as Sherry and Janet sat by his lifeless body and held his other hand. I looked across the room and saw a can of BRASSO on a shelf. Most people would not notice it. But when you have shined your belt buckle day after day using a soft clothe and Brasso, you remember. I even have a can of it somewhere.
I was able to salute my hero as he was rolled out of the home leaving grieving his wife (of 60+ yrs), sister, daughters and Cody*** watching.
***Cody, a nephew, told Sherry & I a short story as Vernon was loaded into the Hearse. Cody said, “In that Hearse is a MAN. A Man is not worth his salt if he does not keep his word. I was a kid when my dad died. Many people (kin and friends) passed that coffin and promised this kid lots of things. I am here to tell you that Vernon Gomez Harris was the ONLY one who kept his word. He has been there for me since the day after my daddy died. He has been like a father to me and I will always love him for it!”
I mentioned Vernon as one of my heroes, he was always a ‘Steady as she goes’ type of man. He was Sherry’s hero from childhood.
WE, and many will miss the old soldier. Jokingly I asked Vernon once, “Why would any sane man jump out of a perfectly good airplane?”
With that sly smile of his he said, “For $50 a month.” (That was jump pay!)
The family will always remember and miss a gentle giant who always kept his word, not only to Cody, but to everyone. To my Brother-in-law Vernon Gomez Harris, have a great flight.
He is now with his mama & dad, brothers Lefty and Tommy and two sweet sisters Collette and Lennie.