Beth's Memorial Day (G)

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Beth's Memorial Day (G)

Postby allegrita » Mon May 28, 2012 8:52 pm

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

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Beth’s Memorial Day

Beth woke early, and was showered and dressed by seven. As she walked out to the car, she glanced at the gray sky and made a little face. “June gloom in May,” she muttered. It was supposed to be a beautiful, sunny day later on, but the marine layer was still very thick at that hour. It was one of the drawbacks about living so close to the beach, she supposed. She shivered a little as she squeegeed the mist from her car windows.

She stopped at Starbucks for a coffee, and made one more stop for flowers, but it was still before nine when she arrived at the cemetery. She smiled at the sight of thousands of flags fluttering in the morning breeze. She walked through the rows, looking for the right place, and when she found it she knelt down and traced her finger over the name on the bronze plaque.

THOMAS A TURNER
CPL US ARMY
PERSIAN GULF
MAR 13 1959 OCT 7 1990

“Hi Dad,” she said quietly, “I brought you some flowers.” She placed the arrangement next to the flag and spent a few moments rearranging the flowers and picking a few pieces of grass off of the grave marker. When a shadow fell on the plaque, she looked up, squinting against the bright sky. Mick was standing there.

“Hi! What are you doing here?” Beth scrambled to her feet, brushing the grass from her knees.

Mick looked at her over the top of his sunglasses. “I thought maybe you could use some company.”

Beth smiled. “I guess maybe I can. Thanks.”

Mick glanced at the grave. “I knew you’d be here today.”

Beth rolled her eyes. “I’ve been coming every year since high school, so I guess it’s no surprise that you know about it.”

Mick looked away. “Yeah, well…”

Beth smiled at him. “It’s okay, Mick.”

There was an awkward silence. At last, Mick said, “So… when did your dad join the Army?”

“When I was a baby, after he and Mom got divorced. I guess he decided he needed to do something with his life. He’d been in a lot of trouble, that’s why he and my mom broke up. But I guess the Army settled him down.”

The corner of Mick’s mouth lifted. “Some guys really come into their own in the Service.” He paused. “You didn’t see your dad much, growing up. Or…” he looked a little uncomfortable. “Or at least, I never saw you with him.”

Beth grinned. “You mean when you were watching over me?”

Mick’s uncomfortable look grew into a seriously embarrassed look. “I wasn’t – I mean, I tried to stay close, just to keep an eye out, but I didn’t spy on you, okay?”

Beth grabbed his hand and squeezed. “I’m glad you did. You kept us safe. And Dad was overseas, so we needed a Guardian Angel hanging around.”

Mick squeezed back. “I’m sorry for your dad. He missed out on a lot of fun stuff with you and your mom.”

Beth laughed. “Oh yeah, like the broken arm I got falling off a horse in the fourth grade, and the fleas in that beach cabin in Carmel…”

Mick grinned. “Yeah, and think how much fun he’d have had, giving your prom date the third degree…”

Beth looked at Mick, her mouth wide open. “You didn’t!”

Mick put his arm around her. “Well, not like a dad would do. I just did a background check on him. He was okay, no skeletons in any closets.”

Beth snuggled into the curve of his arm and gave him a little hug. “Well, thanks. I’m sure my dad would have been glad to know there was an angel around.”

Mick looked back at Beth’s father’s grave. “So he was a lifer, huh?”

Beth nodded. “Yes, he’d been in for almost ten years when he died.”

“What did he do in the Army?”

Beth brushed a wisp of hair away from her face. “He was a supply guy. He was killed in Kuwait during the first Gulf War.”

Mick hugged her. “I’m sorry.”

Beth sighed. “Mom was afraid to tell me. She thought my nightmares would come back. But I never knew him, you know? It wasn’t like he was suddenly missing from my life. He was just a man in a picture.”

Mick nodded. “I understand, Beth. How could you mourn someone you didn’t know?”

“You want to know the worst part? The thing I really missed was the Christmas card with money inside.”

Mick smiled. “That’s a very kid-like reaction.”

Beth shrugged. “Later, I felt bad that I never mourned my dad’s passing, but when you’re ten years old it just seems so… unreal.”

Mick hugged her hard. “You’re here now. I think he’d like that.”

Beth looked around at the acres of graves surrounding them, each one with a flag. “He wasn’t a hero or anything. He was killed in a car accident, miles from the front lines.”

Mick looked at Beth. “He died in a war, Beth. He deserves to be remembered, just as much as the men who died under fire. Guys like your dad are just as important as fighting soldiers. They make it possible for the soldiers to fight.”

Beth looked up into Mick’s face. “Yeah, but was it a war even worth fighting?”

Mick frowned. “I know what you mean. When I went to war, I knew that I was fighting to keep the world free. I was proud to go. And we soldiers had the whole country behind us. Everyone believed in us, and in the cause we were fighting for.”

Beth nodded. “It’s not so easy for us to point to the wars our country is fighting today, and say, ‘This is a fight against an enemy who threatens our nation.’ The issues are so complicated.”

Mick shook his head. “You’re right. I was lucky, because I knew the cause was just.” He paused. “You know, I protested against the Vietnam War.”

“You did?!”

“Yeah. Drove Josef nuts, too. He kept yelling at me about endangering the secrecy of the Tribe.”

Beth grinned. “You? An anti-war protester? With love beads, and long hair?”

Mick smirked. “Almost down to my waist. And a fringed leather jacket.”

Beth laughed. “I would’ve loved to see that.”

Mick shrugged. “Sorry. It was before the days of digital photography, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. I was a total hippie.”

Beth looked at the graves surrounding them. “But you had been a soldier! Didn’t you feel a sense of solidarity with the guys who went to Vietnam to fight?”

Mick nodded. “Yeah, I did. And I thought they were being used as pawns in a terrible game of politics. A game they shouldn’t have to die for.”

Beth smiled. “I’m glad you stood up for what you believed in. Even if it did piss Josef off.”

Mick grinned. “He got over it. Eventually.”

Suddenly, the notes of a distant trumpet floated to them on the breeze, and Mick took off his baseball cap and held it over his heart. Beth stood up straight, tears in her eyes, listening to the simple, clear melody.

There was a moment of silence, and then the three sharp cracks of the 21-gun salute. Mick and Beth stood quietly, each lost in their own thoughts.

After a while, Beth said softly, “Is it wrong of me to hope that one day there will be no more need for soldiers?”

Mick kissed her hair. “I don’t think so. I hope so too. Especially after fighting in a war, I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone. War really is hell. And there should be a damn good reason for sending young men off to die in one.”

“And women,” said Beth.

Mick smiled. “And women, sorry.”

“Sexist.”

“I said I was sorry!”

“Now you have to buy me breakfast.”

“Okay, it’s a deal.”

Beth knelt again and laid her hand over her father’s name. “Thank you, Daddy. Thank you for serving your country.”

Mick stood behind her, his hat in his hand. In a voice too low for Beth to hear, he said, “Thank you, Mr. Turner. I promise to take care of her. And thank you for the sacrifice you made for our country. It will never be forgotten.”

<>

Every year, the Los Angeles area Boy and Girl Scouts place flags on veterans’ graves for Memorial Day Weekend. Here’s a little photo essay about it: http://www.experiencingla.com/2010/05/l ... orial.html
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Re: Beth's Memorial Day (G)

Postby jen » Mon May 28, 2012 9:05 pm

Alle

This is lovelly!

Don 't think it was ever mentioned in the show about Beth's parents being divorced--if it was, I missed it, but it has definitely become canon in fanfic. Makes sense. Beth is a very independent woman.

It also makes sense that Mick would know her habits, and visiting her Dad's grave on Memorial Day is apparently one.

Thank you for this fabulous story about Mick and Beth sharing history!

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Re: Beth's Memorial Day (G)

Postby Lucy » Mon May 28, 2012 9:32 pm

a relationship with Mick is more than a romantic adventure....he's a worthy partner in dialogue and the stories of life that break your heart. I can imagine the day and the hour beautifully from this story.....
Touching and special for this day of days.

Thank-you for sharing these moments with them.
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Re: Beth's Memorial Day (G)

Postby cassysj » Mon May 28, 2012 9:33 pm

This is one of the more positive outcomes for Mr. Turner I've read as strange as that sounds. I prefer to think of him as someone who was away serving his country instead of just deliberately being non-existent in his daughter's life. The loss of life due to war is tragic whether they in the battlefield or the support staff but the men and women that defend our country provide a service we can never say thank you enough for.


I like to think of Beth honoring her father as a woman and the image of Mick as a Vietnam War protestor I can completely see but like Beth I would love a pic. It has been very hard since WWII since none of the lines have been as clear. God Bless all the men and women who have laid down their lives for our freedom.

Perfect story for Memorial day
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Re: Beth's Memorial Day (G)

Postby francis » Mon May 28, 2012 9:34 pm

War isn't black and white anymore, maybe it never was. It's always a failure of humanity and diplomacy. Mick and Beth have an understanding despite their different background. :hearts:

I would love to see a blurry image of Mick in his hippie garb. :rolling:
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Re: Beth's Memorial Day (G)

Postby PNWgal » Mon May 28, 2012 10:22 pm

I like the idea of Beth's dad being a military lifer. :smooch:

And I kinda dig the idea of Mick protesting the Vietnam War, especially in light of the fact that he served himself.

Lovely job, sweetie! :hug:
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Re: Beth's Memorial Day (G)

Postby librarian_7 » Mon May 28, 2012 11:41 pm

A beautiful tribute to the day, Alle.

:flowers:

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Re: Beth's Memorial Day (G)

Postby MickLifeCrisis » Tue May 29, 2012 2:34 am

Yes, a wonderful tribute. Made me all teary at the end. :hankie:

Mick a Vietnam War protester...now there's food for thought!

Nice job, Alle! :thanks:
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Re: Beth's Memorial Day (G)

Postby Shadow » Tue May 29, 2012 3:05 am

:melts: Ohhh... one of the things I really missed in the show was any real mention of Beth's past or of her family. This is a such a lovely take on that. The idea that Beth's father was a soldier who died in Kuwait is a very interesting one, and really rings true. I also love Mick's embarrassment about his history of watching over Beth -- and the way he did a background check on her prom date. :laugh: Of course, he would do that! I've always wondered what Mick's take on all the wars since WWII might be, and this story has a wonderful answer to that question. I really like Mick and Beth's conversation on that subject. And, the image of Mick as a long-haired war protester is very vivid! I, too, wish there had been digital photography back then . . . :biggrin:
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Re: Beth's Memorial Day (G)

Postby nutmegger911 » Tue May 29, 2012 4:30 am

What a wonderful Memorial Day Tribute, Alle. :rose:

I liked Mick's awkwardness when his guardian angel status is discussed. When Beth's mother showed up at Mick's door alone, I always assumed Beth's father was dead. This provides a realistic alternative. Well done.
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Re: Beth's Memorial Day (G)

Postby allegrita » Tue May 29, 2012 6:30 pm

Thanks, everyone. I woke up with this story in my head, and I hurried to write it down before it floated away. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :ghug:

The lack of information about Beth's family has afforded us fanfic writers a lot of leeway to fill in the blanks as we see fit. It occurred to me that Beth's dad might have been absent because he was overseas, in the service. And knowing how many young men at loose ends have found themselves as a result of their military service, I thought it might be the case for Mr. Turner as well.

I based Mick's Vietnam war protest on my own parents. My dad is a WWII vet (he's Mick's age, born in 1922). He and my mom both felt that the Vietnam war was unjustified, and that it was unconscionable to draft young men and force them to fight. And my dad said that his own experience as a Navy pilot during the war had a great deal to do with his feelings.

I'll confess that the image of Mick with long hair and a fringed jacket has been a fantasy of mine for some time. :melts: :melts: :melts: One of these days I hope to finish a story I started a few months ago, about Mick's experiences living in the Haight Ashbury during the Summer of Love. :melts: :happysigh:
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Re: Beth's Memorial Day (G)

Postby choccyterri » Wed May 30, 2012 12:10 pm

:flowers: A latecomer to this story Alle, but it's simple beauty and poignancy ring out even across the pond. :heart: I agree that this is a beautiful way to fill in the wherabouts of Beth's father... and it is a lovely tribute to your Memorial day. Servicemen all over the world deserve to be remembered and honoured for all they have done and continue to do. :hug: Thank you so much for sharing it... :heart:
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Re: Beth's Memorial Day (G)

Postby allegrita » Thu May 31, 2012 1:08 am

Thank you so much, Terri! :hug: And I absolutely agree that all people in the armed services, all over the world--and especially those who are hurt or killed in action--should be honored and thanked. :notworthy: :heart:
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Re: Beth's Memorial Day (G)

Postby BlueEyedMonster » Sat May 25, 2013 6:56 pm

Lovely just lovely
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Re: Beth's Memorial Day (G)

Postby francis » Sat May 25, 2013 7:48 pm

This story is gripping my heart again. Thanks for the reread. :hug:
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