When My Best Friend was Killed in the Navy – Dealing with It

God brings home his favorite children first.  It’s true – the good die young, and I’ve seen it played out numerous times.  Today is tribute to my best friend in the Navy, Lt. Todd Jeffries – aptly nicknamed Hollywood in dive school.  He was the best looking, fittest and kindest man amongst us, who treated all people like brothers.  Todd lived a mile down the beach from me in Panama City, knew that I loved frozen yogurt and always grabbed one for me on his way over.  (There was a custard stand on the beach halfway between our two homes).  He never bothered calling to ask if I wanted one.  He just did it.  Even at that time, I reflected with awe on his seemingly perfect character.  We endured all training together, all bars together, and chose to be stationed in Hawaii together.  Six months after our arrival in Hawaii, Todd was killed.  During this time of my life – youth, I expressed my frustrations, pain and lack of understanding through poems.  This one was for Todd:

(FYI – in Navy speak, a cover refers to an officer’s white hat with the gold insignia on front and a black bill for shading the eyes)

Good Bye to Hollywood (Lt. Todd Jeffries) 1992

IN OUR NATIONS UNIFORM

AMONGST A CROWDED BAR

OR RUNNING FAR UPON A SANDY BEACH

OR SWIMMING THROUGH THE OCEANS MIND

HE WAS ALWAYS AT MY SIDE

 

LIFE LOVE AND BEAUTY

ARE FRAGILE AND FLEETING

THE BORROWED GIFTS OF A SELFISH GOD

 

I GAZE NOT NOW

BEYOND THE SUN

BUT TILT MY COVER

TO HALT THE BLINDING LIGHT

TO SIGH UPON THE WATER

AND REALIZE

THE TIMES HAVE PASSED

WHEN HOLLYWOOD WILL STAND AT MY SIDE

Ladies – Sorry if Todd’s too hard on the eyes:)    Todd 004

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