1968. It was a big year in the United States. I only know of it from second and third hand accounts, due to being born in 1980. Little did I know however, how important the events of that year and the sixties in general were to my fathers worldview.
A few months ago, the newspaper from the town my father grew up in said they were looking for him or his ancestors. He had placed something in a time capsule that would be opened. How exciting! Why did he never tell me of this thing?
That day was the start of 3rd grade for my youngest daughter. As soon as I got her contact information, I emailed her explaining the importance of this event to our family and that I would be taking her from school early to attend. My oldest daughter is out of school, but working. She got permission to leave work early to attend as well. I wanted them to be present.
The small meeting room, where the time capsule would be opened was over crowded. The three of us crawled onto the floor and kneeled on the floor between aisles to see it be opened. The event was also live streamed on Facebook.
The tears started flowing as soon as dad’s envelope was called out, with my youngest daughter handing the envelope to my oldest. We left the room to get some space. We were then video taped as I read the letter. I tried but couldn’t keep composure of the words a sixteen year old version of my father wrote.
The contents of the envelope were a typed letter, two newspaper clippings and a post card. I came to tears when I saw the post card. Whenever I would travel anywhere – he would say the phrase “send me a postcard.” Which I did, often.
The newspaper clippings were from both of the assassinated Kennedy brothers, lying in state. His letter primarily spoke of the Kennedy’s. I’m attaching a scan of that letter for the world to see. My daughters and I are continuing this trend, and will be adding something to a new time capsule to be opened in 2068. We will see if I make it. Dad’s letter closes with “see you in 2018.” It broke my heart, and brought my oldest daughter to tears, as he didn’t get to see us.
The loss of him from our lives still breaks our hearts, and forever will.