Bombs over Belfast

When you are going through a trying time, it sometimes helps to put things in perspective. For example, Dad’s childhood was marked by a period where his family and friends had to rush to the bomb shelter in the middle of the night to protect themselves from the Nazi’s aerial attacks. This happened on a regular basis. The shelter was dark, damp and crowded. Babies cried, fathers cursed, and mothers prayed. Several hundred people died, and many families lost their homes and businesses.

One of the attacks occurred just five days after my dad’s 9th birthday. That’s a lot for a child to handle.

My typical childhood in the safety of an American suburb was far removed from these brutal brushes with death and destruction. It’s difficult to say how this violent childhood experience impacted Dad. Did it lead to his suspicious, paranoid nature? Perhaps. Has that led to my cautious nature? Perhaps.

Dad saw horrors as a young boy that I can’t even begin to imagine. Regardless of present strife, I’m lucky to have been spared such a traumatic childhood, full of uncertainty and chaos.

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