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I've Al;ways Loved You - a True Styory of WW II in the Pacific

I wish I saw more people wearing red flowers like they used to on veterans Day. Here are excerpts from my true storu of WW II in the Pacific:

In the Imperial Palace, Tokyo:MOTHERS-IN-LAW and daughters-in-law sometimes don’t get along. Such
was the case in the emperor’s family, where his hawk wife pitted herself
against his dove mother. Though Japan allegedly teems with ten thou-
sand kami spirits who reside in the rocks, fields, and trees, their holy
presence could not save the emperor from the struggles of these two
strong women. He feared his mother, adored his wife, Nagako, whose patriotic
haikus stiffened his resolve to fight with greater ferocity. However, his
mother, Teimei Kogo, Dowager Empress Sadako, took a resolute antiwar
stand. She dreaded the Americans and believed they would crush Dai
Nippon. When she wasn’t lecturing him, her thin, dry lips trembling, she
sent him haikus around themes of the traveler who seeks the seed of the
green tree of peace or a moment of peace as a bar of gold. Worse, she
called everything he did a “stupid mistake.” Supposedly no insults existed in the Japanese language, only infi-
nite degrees of apology, but the dowager empress forgot this courtesy
when speaking to her son. When he replied, she crossed her arms to sig-
nify boredom. What an anomaly she was in a country where a tiny
breach of courtesy prompted the apology, "Moshi wake gazaimasen, if
you please, my transgression is unforgivable, and I wish I were dead.” In California: At home, Mom seemed gloomier than ever. As time went by, she
missed Daddy more, not less. He was the powerful connection, and
being without him again took its toll. Confusion burrowed in and
marked a mood whose changing face kept her off balance. She wrote in her diary: “I think of my childhood as if trying to recall a book I read or a
movie I saw. But Frank – I remember him with such intensity it some-
times makes me nauseous. Lately I fight a need to be alone. The thought
of seeing anyone besides my family feels like staring into an overhead
light. I try to keep my hope, since without it, I’d be on the next train to
oblivion. I know that.” I injudiciously came in clutching a kitten,
gray with white paws. Mom raised her paring knife. “What have you done?” “Belinda’s mother gave it to me. Isn’t she nice?” Mom eyed the kitten with loathing. “Belinda’s mother can take it
right back. It has a sneaky expression on its face and will kill the birds in
my garden if it has the chance. Cats are dreadful and the natural enemies
of babies.” I said crushingly, “My brother’s not a baby anymore.” “The cat’s glaring at him. Besides, it will run away. They all do.
Temporary shelter and food: that’s all they want.” “It's just a kitten. And it likes me.” “You don’t know what you’re talking about. It will soon grow into
a cat, and the cat will gain the upper hand with you. It would be un-
derfoot all day, pouncing on all of us, shredding the furniture. And adult
cats have bad breath, you know.” “I thought you said it would run away." Then, to negotiate, I
added, "It can play outdoors with the two cats next door." “It’s a kitten; they would kill it in no time."
Preacher couldn’t consider tedious inconsequentials like my raising two
children and a dog by myself.” “The kitten’s a present for me. And I don’t think you should call
Belinda’s mom the ‘Grim Preacher.’ ” Mom scowled and put her hands on her hips. “ When your
father comes home, he will deal with this sort of thing, but right now I
have to do everything.” “Daddy will buy me a cat.” Mom wrapped the kitten in a warm towel, spirited it with Frankie and me
into the car, and returned it. I glared at her. “I’ll talk about you at ‘share and tell’ tomorrow.” Daddy on Luzon:ON THE “BRIGHT ISLAND where the frangipani grows,” Daddy crossed
over into another experience. After an unopposed landing, the Americans
faced devastating bombardment, as Yamashita’s troops opened fire. Mor-
tar shells blew the tops off palm trees, ruined roads, filled the air with
steam and dust. The deafening sounds of weapons enlarged the grand
and terrible events. The screams of the wounded combined with the “banzais” the
Japanese shrieked at the top of their considerable lungs, and sometimes
they shouted taunts: “Hello, hello. Where are your machine guns?” or
“Surrender, surrender. Everything is resistless.” Daddy said, “Give me a moment, and I’ll think up a swift, incisive
reply.”  In his diary he wrote: “Ammunition’s running low. Strikes in the ports hamper trans-
portation and unloading. Oxen-drawn carts loaded with pigs or chick-
ens help move weapons, and water buffalo tote signal equipment for our
field artillery units. A flu epidemic rages, but I won’t catch it. I never get
sick. Guns, blood, noise, and heat. Will I ever again be able to experience
a day without dread? In battle, men learn who they are and what they can
do. The chaos and exhaustion deranges some of them. Their teeth chat-
ter, they scamper around aimlessly. One burrowed into a cave and got
blown up. You figure they’ve gone beyond little lectures on the dream of
peace.” Night fell, and he climbed into his foxhole with Jim. Feeling the
warmth of a good man next to him made it better. They rotated eating,
sleeping, and watch in four-hour shifts, saying nothing. One word, and
a Japanese might hear and toss a grenade or satchel charges, incinerating
them. Fires were forbidden, so they lit cigarettes with special black
lighters and ate cold K-rations: cheese, crackers, lemonade powder. After breakfast, Daddy gave the men a pep talk to muster extra
enthusiasm. “Strength under siege,” he would say, “it’s important, and
you men have it.” His words energized them but could not offset the sight of the
crosses that sprang up every day. A week after landing, they moved west under heavy artillery and
mortar fire, crawling along, staying clear of each other as if contact
represented danger. Daddy prayed. He kept moving. One morning the firing subsided for a few minutes, and he wrote
home: “Thank you for saying the shower will be all mine. I’m sick of not
being able to sing in one. When I return, I’m going to sing until the hot
water runs out, wait for it to reheat, and sing again. I plan to shower and
sing for a year. And hold you, my precious. How long it has been? “You’re probably wondering if our K-rations have improved. No!
Tonight’s arrived in rain—drenched cartons that turned the ‘food’ into
soggy mush. Whoever devised them preferred a life of making mistakes
to a life of idleness. Maybe he was a spy. Some day I’ll die of overeating, but not here. “The sky turns from blue to lavender to pink in the sunset. This
time of day always makes me homesick.” Available @ Amazon.com. Thanks for  reading this far. X0, Ann Seymour