Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Friday, September 5, 2008


I was watching the Republican convention and was particularly aware of the obvious pride Mr. Palin had for his wife, Sarah, and the pride with which Mrs. McCain looked at Senator McCain.

You know there have been moments in my life with Alan when I know I must have had that same kind of pride, but I don't remember too many of them. That doesn't bode well for me, does it?

I just don't remember bursting with pride when he graduated from Rutgers, nor when he got his masters from Rutgers. Nor do I recall pride when he graduated from Planning Associates school at Fort Belvoir after a year of being AWOL from the family in Cincinnati.

I do, however, remember the pride I felt when he was commissioned into the U.S. Army as a Second Lieutenant. Now, that was something I shall never forget. Yet, it was at a time when very few Americans had pride for our servicemen. It was at the time of the Viet Nam war, and while I was very proud of his commission, I was scared that he would be sent to that country to fight in a war against communism -- at least I think that's what that war was about.

I recall his commissioning as a First Lieutenant as well. I got to pin the bar on him, and then he became a Captain, that, too was a time of pride for me. And what did I do? Nothing. I just endured his long days of classes, physical training, and sleepless nights.

I recall an other instance when I was proud of Alan, albeit it was a funny pride. We were on our honeymoon and he was doing his dives -- have I related this story before? He was quite good at diving, twists and turns, and swans, etc., and because I had seen him "show off" like this before, I thought nothing of it. Then I heard a little girl say, "Look at that man, mommy. Isn't he diving well?" Then it dawned on me that she was talking about Alan. At that point I was proud to be married (albeit only three days) to a wonderful man.

I think that my pride regarding Alan's accomplishments -- and there have been several that I didn't mention here, has not been so obvious to me because he is so much a part of me, that when something great happens to him that should elicit pride from me, it's just another step in my life, and that pride for him is wrapped up in me, for which I don't feel that pride. Does that make any sense?

Alan is a very humble man, and I guess that humility just exudes from him when something for which there should be pride occurs and his humility, or lack of pride carries over to me. It's not that I'm any less proud of him, it's just that I don't FEEL proud.

Now, if we were to talk about my children and grandchildren, there would be many instances in which I could tell you of my pride for them, probably because they needed to know that mother or MeMom was proud of them. I guess I never thought that Alan needed to know that I was proud of him. It was just assumed that as my husband I was proud of him in all things. I guess I need to tell him more often that I am proud of him -- past and present.


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