I was feeling nostalgic yesterday afternoon. It most likely started because I was listening to R.E.M.’s (Don’t Go Back To) Rockville, a song we played quite often when I was stationed in Iceland.
The year I spent in Iceland started very rough. When I arrived in March, the snow had yet to begun to melt. I remember falling down a couple of times in my dress blues, not getting used to all the ice and snow. It was difficult to fit in with my roommate on main base as well. Then my uncle died, without my mom or sisters telling me.
I was always afraid that my father would pass away when I was in the service – in some far off place without being able to spend some time with him. When my uncle died – my dad’s brother – it hit me very hard. I had just seen him the week before I left. He had suffered a massive stroke. He could not communicate and was being fed through a tube it his stomach. It was difficult to see this once vital man in this condition. And then I would picture my father in such a state, without me there to help him or be with him.
What hurt more of course was my mom not telling me he passed away. She didn’t want me to worry, didn’t want me to come back to California for the funeral as I just left there. She didn’t think the military would give me leave, but they would have. I got drunk that night. I got very drunk.
So there is that memory to deal with when I think of Iceland, but there many fond memories as well. I won’t get into them, but I wanted to see if there was any information about Rockville, the little radar station I was at, on the Internet. You know what there is!
Things have changed.