Melvin Eugene Lambert was my father. He passed away in late February and we buried him on March 3, my mother's birthday. I had a complicated relationship with my father.
My parents were married in January of 1959, not much more than kids, and just having graduated high school the year before. I came along exactly 13 months later.
Gene and Joyce were children of the 50's, Bobby Sixers, Elvis Presley, Rock and Roll, and Hot Sexy cars. It was the Kennedy Era, Camelot and the Korean War, which took my Dad off to foreign lands.
He met my mother at the YMCA.
The marriage didn't last long for a number of reasons, their youth and the distance apart being without a doubt, two of the contributing factors. I was born in Pennsylvania, but my mother would move back to Albemarle with me in tow, while Dad served in the military for many years, as an MP, stationed all over the world. He spoke German, Korean and Vietnamese, as well as English. He served as a Sgt Major in both Korea and Vietnam.
Back in America, he remarried twice, both failed marriages, one producing two more sons. Finally, in 2009, he found a lasting love in the form of my sweet, beautiful stepmom Ellen.
His career in the military and the circumstances of divorce did not allow me much of a relationship with my Dad growing up, but I had a God-given Daddy who stood in his place and raised me.
My relationship with my Dad actually began when I was 18. He was retired from the military by then. He was an excellent Grandfather to my children and my grandchildren.
He had a close relationship with his extended family and shared my love of history and genealogy. More accurately, I probably inherited it from both him and my maternal grandfather.
This past Christmas, everything was so normal. We had no inkling what the next few weeks would hold. We didn't know it would be our last with Dad.
It's going to take me a long time to get over this blow. I haven't yet. Rest in Peace, Dad. I miss you deeply and love you always.