>



Missing Air Crew Project Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Missing Air Crew Project Forum » Sharon Conner's Blog » Hello - Goodbye

   
Author Topic: Hello - Goodbye
SharonCrowleyConnor
Moderator
Member # 28

Icon 7 posted      Profile for SharonCrowleyConnor   Email SharonCrowleyConnor   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This will be very hard to write, I think, but let me try.

Last evening, to coincide with sunset, our boat set out into the open sea so I could go to my father. Not sure whether I was saying goodbye or hello.

It was my birthday, and the folks here at the Manta Ray Bay Hotel gave me a lei to wear in my hair. They gave us two woven baskets of flowers. A Yapese woman whom we had only briefly met the night before brought another lei which Kathy wore. (The women reading this may understand how pretty we felt with flowers in our hair.)

As the boat left the channel, I was overcome with a sense of rushing out to meet my handsome father, and. I was going to be there soon. With Kathy and me were the hotel owner, his wife and daughter, a special staff member Peter, Mike the photographer, Pat and Cherie and the Anthony family.

When the approximate location was reached, we stopped and steadied ourselves against the rolling boat in preparation for our little ceremony. I’d never done anything like this, so I just let me heart lead me. When I had my letter in hand, I pushed the CD player button that let Jo Stafford begin singing “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and read my letter to my father. I choked when I said his name, as I do every time. I nearly lost my voice again when I read that I was born September 20, for today WAS September 20. I was not the only one trying to keep my composure. I ended my words to my father, but it didn’t feel like goodbye. I told him I’d be seeing him, and by that time, Jo was singing “Fly the ocean in a silver plane…”

Kathy read all the names of the twenty-two crewmen who never returned to those who loved them. She put that list and photos of my father’s brothers and sister into one of the baskets. I put my letter and tribute I’d written to him on our AWON website into the other basket of flowers. As serenely as could be, they bobbed along until they were out of sigh. Flowers fell from the baskets a little at a time along the way. I still did not feel like goodbye.

Returning to the dock, even as salty sea spray prickled my skin, I felt peaceful. My father had fallen into the sea 62 long years ago and now his presence was being recognized. He was there, and he knew we were with him. I was happy. He knew I’d come a very long way to see him as soon as I’d learned where he was.

We were all directed to the Mnuw, the hotel’s ship/restaurant/bar, where the hotel had prepared for us a celebratory dinner of mangrove crab and taro with coconut sauce, and even a surprise birthday cake. Balloons with cute little Asian comic figures bounced from all the poles (what are they called?), while we heard the oft-played loop of musical offerings, including “I Feel Good” (JB) and “RESPECT” (AF).

Could I have asked for more? I FEEL GOOD.

Posts: 13 | From: San Diego | Registered: Jun 2006  |  Logged: 63.84.110.232
Walt
Missing Air Crew Member
Member # 55

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Walt     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A heartfelt and touching tribute and appropriate ceremony at sea! As I'm researching a similar story (MIA B-24 and cousin), I've been actively following Pat's adventure and have even assisted some. Your reference to the discovery of submerged wreckage is tantalizing, and I look forward to more on this!
Posts: 3 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  Logged: 141.157.166.224
Schubert
Senior Missing Air Crew Member
Member # 26

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Schubert   Email Schubert   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sharon, my name is Tim Schubert. I hope that a small amount of happiness has accompanied your voyage to Yap. I have seldom read words so heartfelt or so eloquently written. God bless you and I'm sure your Father has a broad prideful smile on his face right now.
Tim

Posts: 20 | From: Albany Oregon | Registered: May 2006  |  Logged: 67.171.195.28
Schubert
Senior Missing Air Crew Member
Member # 26

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Schubert   Email Schubert   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sharon, I hope your trip was something that you will never forget. I also hope that my extended family was of some help to you. I also hope that your nose has now healed.
Tim Schubert

Posts: 20 | From: Albany Oregon | Registered: May 2006  |  Logged: 67.171.195.28
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Missing Air Crew Project Forum

® Copyright, MissingAirCrew.com®, All rights reserved.

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2




This site is owned & developed by Patrick Ranfranz of Cameron, WI
Email: pat@missingaircrew.com | 1473 21 1/2 Street, Cameron, WI 54822

Copyright Notice: All images and text on this website are protected by U.S. and International Copyright Law.
No images or text should be copied, downloaded, transferred, or reproduced without the written consent
of Patrick Ranfranz/MissingAirCrew.com Images. If you wish to use any materials
(images or text), please contact: webmaster@missingaircrew.com

® Copyright, MissingAirCrew.com®, All rights reserved.

Help support this site, order your www.Amazon.com materials through this link.