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E arly on the morning of August 19, 1946, I was born under a clear sky after a violent summer storm to a widowed cheap ralph lauren online store uk mother in the Julia Chester Hospital in Hope, a town of about six thousand in southwest nike air max 1 Arkansas, thirty-three miles east of the Texas border at Texarkana. My mother named me William Jefferson Ralph Lauren UK Online Store Blythe III after my father, William Jefferson Blythe Jr., one of nine children of a poor Michael Kors outlet purses farmer in Sherman, Texas, who died when my father was seventeen. According to his sisters, my air jordan sale father always tried to take care of them, and he grew up to be a handsome, ray ban usa online store hardworking, fun-loving man. He met my mother at Tri-State Hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1943, when raybans.com she was training to be a nurse. Many times when I was growing up, I asked oakley sunglasses cheap Mother to tell me the story of their meeting, courting, and marriage. He brought a date http://www.oakleysunglasses-saleshop.com with some kind of medical emergency into the ward where she was working, and they talked authentic nike air jordan shoes and flirted while the other woman was being treated. On his way out of the hospital, nike air jordan 5 he touched the finger on which she was wearing her boyfriends ring and asked her if discount oakley sunglasses she was married. She stammered noshe was single. The next day he sent the other woman Oakeyley Sunglasses Wholesale flowers and her heart sank. Then he called Mother for a date, explaining that he always air jordan 5 sent flowers when he ended a relationship. Two months later, they were married and he was off sale ray ban sunglasses online to war. He served in a motor pool in the invasion of Italy, repairing jeeps and tanks. After the war, he returned to Hope for Mother and they moved to Chicago, where he got back his old job as a salesman for the Manbee Equipment Company. They bought a little house in the suburb of Forest Park but couldnt move in for a couple of months, and since Mother was pregnant with me, they decided she should new coach handbags 2014 on sale go home to Hope until they could get into the new house. On May 17, 1946, after moving their furniture into their new home, my father was driving from Chicago to Hope to fetch his Ray Ban Rb3025 wife. Late at night on Highway 60 outside of Sikeston, Missouri, he lost control of his Michael Kors online car, a 1942 Buick, when the right front tire blew out on a wet road. He Air Jordan 11 Retro was thrown clear of the car but landed in, or crawled into, a drainage ditch dug Nike Air Max 90 to reclaim swampland. The ditch held three feet of water. When he was found, after a nike air max 1 essential two-hour search, his hand was grasping a branch above the waterline. He had tried but failed coach outlet online to pull himself out. He drowned, only twenty-eight years old, married two years and eight months, oakley sunglasses outlet store only seven months of which he had spent with Mother. That brief sketch is about all I Michael Kors Purses ever really knew about my father. All my life I have been hungry to fill in fake ray bans for sale uk the blanks, clinging eagerly to every photo or story or scrap of paper that would tell ray ban me more of the man who gave me life. When I was about twelve, sitting on my cheap ray ban 2140 uncle Buddys porch in Hope, a man walked up the steps, looked at me, and said, nike air jordan shoes store Youre Bill Blythes son. You look just like him. I beamed for days. In 1974, I was michael kors bags factory outlet running for Congress. It was my first race and the local paper did a feature story shopping ray ban sunglasses uk on my mother. She was at her regular coffee shop early in the morning discussing the Cheap Ray Bans article with a lawyer friend when one of the breakfast regulars she knew only casually came sale ray ban sunglasses online up to her and said, I was there, I was the first one at the wreck Michael Kors wallets that night. He then told Mother what he had seen, including the fact that my father Nike Air Max 90 Shoes had retained enough consciousness or survival instinct to try to claw himself up and out of Ray Ban UK the water before he died. Mother thanked him, went out to her car and cried, then Michael Kors sale dried her tears and went to work. In 1993, on Fathers Day, my first as President, the nike air max ltd Washington Post ran a long investigative story on my father, which was followed over the next nike.com two months by other investigative pieces by the Associated Press and many smaller papers. The stories authentic nike air jordan shoes confirmed the things my mother and I knew. They also turned up a lot we didnt Air Jordan 11 Release Date know, including the fact that my father had probably been married three times before he met Nike Air Jordan 4 Mother, and apparently had at least two more children. My fathers other son was identified as Leon Ray Ban 3025 Sunglasses 62Mm Ritzenthaler, a retired owner of a janitorial service, from northern California. In the article, he said http://www.nikeairmax1in2014.com he had written me during the 92 campaign but had received no reply. I dont remember Cheap Oakley Sunglasses Sale hearing about his letter, and considering all the other bullets we were dodging then, its possible http://www.nikeairmaxtheapremium.com that my staff kept it from me. Or maybe the letter was just misplaced in the Oakley Sunglasses Outlet mountains of mail we were receiving. Anyway, when I read about Leon, I got in touch lauren by ralph lauren bedding with him and later met him and his wife, Judy, during one of my stops in http://www.cheapnikeairmaxltd.com northern California. We had a happy visit and since then weve corresponded in holiday seasons. He Michael Kors bags factory outlet and I look alike, his birth certificate says his father was mine, and I wish Id http://www.2015cheapoakleysunglassessale.com known about him a long time ago. Somewhere around this time, I also received information confirming news Cheap Louis Vuitton Bags stories about a daughter, Sharon Pettijohn, born Sharon Lee Blythe in Kansas City in 1941, to ray ban sunglusses a woman my father later divorced. She sent copies of her birth certificate, her parents marriage air max 2015 license, a photo of my father, and a letter to her mother from my father asking oakley sunglsses about our baby to Betsey Wright, my former chief of staff in the governors office. Im oakley eyeglasses sorry to say that, for whatever reason, Ive never met her. This news breaking in 1993 came air max shoes as a shock to Mother, who by then had been battling cancer for some time, but fake ray bans for sale she took it all in stride. She said young people did a lot of things during ralph lauren bedding the Depression and the war that people in another time might disapprove of. What mattered was air jordan 5 retro that my father was the love of her life and she had no doubt of his niek Air Jordan 11 love for her. Whatever the facts, thats all she needed to know as her own life nike air max 1 2014 moved toward its end. As for me, I wasnt quite sure what to make of it http://www.rayban-sunglassesforsale.com all, but given the life Ive led, I could hardly be surprised that my father was christian louboutin online more complicated than the idealized pictures I had lived with for nearly half a century. In 1994, Ray Bans For Cheap as we headed for the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of D-day, several newspapers published a air max story on my fathers war record, with a snapshot of him in uniform. Shortly afterward, I nike air max ltd received a letter from Umberto Baron of Netcong, New Jersey, recounting his own experiences during the http://www.nikeairmax90shoes.com war and after. He said that he was a young boy in Italy when the Americans oakley outlet arrived, and that he loved to go to their camp, where one soldier in particular befriended Ray Ban Sunglasses UK him, giving him candy and showing him how engines worked and how to repair them. He Air Jordan 4 Retro knew him only as Bill. After the war, Baron came to the United States, and, inspired cheap ray bans sunglasses by what he had learned from the soldier who called him Little GI Joe, he opened Air Jordan 4 Cement his own garage and started a family. He told me he had lived the American dream, nike air max with a thriving business and three children. He said he owed so much of his success ray ban sunglasses in life to that young soldier, but hadnt had the opportunity to say good-bye then, and cheap oakley sunglasses had often wondered what had happened to him. Then, he said, On Memorial Day of this Oakley Outlet Store year, I was thumbing through a copy of the New York Daily News with my morning Nike Air Max 90 Classic coffee when suddenly I felt as if I was struck by lightning. There in the lower coach outlet left-hand corner of the paper was a photo of Bill. I felt chills to learn that coach handbags on sale Bill was none other than the father of the President of the United States. In 1996, the http://www.michaelkorsbagsfactoryoutlet.com children of one of my fathers sisters came for the first time to our annual family http://www.fakeraybansforsale-uk.com Christmas party at the White House and brought me a gift: the condolence letter my aunt Cheap Ralph Lauren UK had received from her congressman, the great Sam Rayburn, after my father died. Its just a cheap louis vuitton neverfull bags short form letter and appears to have been signed with the autopen of the day, but outlet oakley sunglasses I hugged that letter with all the glee of a six-year-old boy getting his first train Ray Ban Outlet Store set from Santa Claus. I hung it in my private office on the second floor of Ray Ban Outlet the White House, and looked at it every night. Shortly after I left the White House, I air jordan shoes for sale was boarding the USAir shuttle in Washington for New York when an airline employee stopped me quality cheap coach purse to say that his stepfather had just told him he had served in the war with Oakley Sunglasses my father and had liked him very much. I asked for the old vets phone number nike air max 1 essential and address, and the man said he didnt have it but would get it to me. ray-ban sunglasses Im still waiting, hoping there will be one more human connection to my father. At the end ray ban sunglasses rb3025 of my presidency, I picked a few special places to say goodbye and thanks to the Michael Kors wallets cheap American people. One of them was Chicago, where Hillary was born; where I all but clinched b&l ray ban usa the Democratic nomination on St. Patricks Day 1992; where many of my most ardent supporters live oakley sunglasses sale shop and many of my most important domestic initiatives in crime, welfare, and education were proved effective; Louis Vuitton Bags and, of course, where my parents went to live after the war. I used to joke ray ban sunglasses sale with Hillary that if my father hadnt lost his life on that rainy Missouri highway, I nike air max thea premium would have grown up a few miles from her and we probably never would have met. ray ban sunglasses for sale My last event was in the Palmer House Hotel, scene of the only photo I have ray ban 2140 wayfarer of my parents together, taken just before Mother came back to Hope in 1946. After the Cheap Christian Louboutin speech and the good-byes, I went into a small room where I met a woman, Mary nike Air Max Etta Rees, and her two daughters. She told me she had grown up and gone to cheap coach purse high school with my mother, then had gone north to Indiana to work in a war coach purses outlet industry, married, stayed, and raised her children. Then she gave me another precious gift: the letter nike air max thea my twenty-three-year-old mother had written on her birthday to her friend, three weeks after my fathers cheap oakley sunglasses wholesale death, more than fifty-four years earlier. It was vintage Mother. In her beautiful hand, she wrote Sunglasses Ray Ban On Sale of her heartbreak and her determination to carry on: It seemed almost unbelievable at the time ray ban 4147 but you see I am six months pregnant and the thought of our baby keeps me cheap air jordan shoes going and really gives me the whole world before me. My mother left me the wedding ring ray ban 4147 review she gave my father, a few moving stories, and the sure knowledge that she was loving ray ban me for him too. My father left me with the feeling that I had to live for http://www.raybanwayfarer.us.com two people, and that if I did it well enough, somehow I could make up for ralph lauren outlet the life he should have had. And his memory infused me, at a younger age than Wholesale Christian Louboutin most, with a sense of my own mortality. The knowledge that I, too, could die young coach handbags drove me both to try to drain the most out of every moment of life and oakley sunglasses 2015 to get on with the next big challenge. Even when I wasnt sure where I was coach.com going, I was always in a hurry.