I feel I am standing on a road which travels directly East, West with no turns, no hills, no detours and no turn offs! I LOVE roads…. always have.
My daddy went through the end of the second world war with the Royal NZ Engineers and his job was building roads in North Africa and Italy, for the Maori Battalion arm of the NZ Armed Forces, to move forward, over. He wasn’t just a road and bridge builder; he was also qualified as an explosives expert – his job there, was to blow up the hard ground, in order to build the road, and blow up the road they had built, after their troops had passed through, so that the enemy would have difficulty following them! He was finally shot in the face in Rimini, northern Italy – and left for dead, amongst all the other dead and wounded. After the battle had moved on, the Indian Red Cross went through the mass of bodies, looking for survivors. Although half of his face was missing, and he was ‘out cold’of course:the Red Cross found that he was breathng, and because he was so darkskinned, they assumed that he was Indian. He was taken to an Indian Red Cross post, where they nursed, bathed and cared for him. When he came to, they were all speaking their own language so he couldn’t understand them and of course he couldn’t speak; No mouth and no right cheek, no right ear! When he had become stronger, he sign signalled for a pencil and paper on which he wrote his Army dog-tag number. The NZ Army took him to their hospital until he was well enough – then they sent him to an evacuation hospital, and he was sent back to NZ on the hospital ship! This was in 1944.
He spent sometime in the city, after the ship arrived back in Wellington, visiting doctors and specialists, then finally they sent him to the very best plastic surgeon on the planet at that time, who was in residence in Christchurch, at the then Burnside Military hospital. He spent a period of two years, on and off, having surgerys on his face. Here he is in a photo taken on the wedding day of my first marriage in 1972. A year and three months later, he was gone!
As I say in the title of this entry, I really need to find like-minded people who share my viewpoint on Life and Faith …. and the Road!!