Apparently, consecutive numeric dates — you know, 11.12.13 — signify something so spectacular that people were rushing to get married yesterday, November 12, 2013. Babies born yesterday will write (or click) a pretty cool birth date for all the years of their lives too. And next year, couples will likely flock to get marriage licenses for December 13, when another sequential pattern signifying fortune, good will, or simple uniqueness will again grace the calendar. I admit to near total ignorance about the lore surrounding zodiacal influences. The stars in the heavens may direct decision making, but when I look up I’m more likely to see merely the handiwork of the great Creator God than a celestial directive guided by Jupiter’s alignment with Mars while the ‘moon is in the 7th house’ (Oh, the ‘dawning of the The Age of Aquarius’! 🙂 ).
Still, some dates are special. Today’s for instance. 11.13.13. One hundred years ago, on November 13, 1913, my dad came squalling into the world. As I wasn’t there, I can only presume that, like babies everywhere and across the millennia, Dad let out a howl or two when the startling light of day assaulted his baby blues, and the cold air of a North Dakota November first brushed his baby cheeks. A homesteading family on a prairie farm nestled by a coal creek bed on the wind-swept plains of America added to their number one baby boy. Peter Jung. My dad. A little boy whose parents were born in nineteenth century Central Europe. A young man who walked behind a plow, sat a fine horse, and let his fists do his talking when words came up short. A handsome devil of a man who, at 31, married my mom, a young slip of a girl only 18 years old in 1944. A farmer who loved the land and worked it faithfully. A father who raised his children to love their mother, do what’s right, take responsibility. A dad, whose passing from this world in 2001 rent a hole in the family’s tapestry too jagged to be mended on this side of eternity.
One hundred years. In the pattern of this world, the span is more than a lifetime. In the span of eternity, a mere drop in the ocean. One hundred years ago today, a baby came squalling into the world, and ‘the rest, as they say,’ is the Peter Jung family history. A story written on wheat fields, strummed on a Gibson guitar, held tightly in a farmer’s hands and saved in his ‘little one’s’ heart until she sees him again. One hundred years. Happy Birthday, Dad.