Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Real Heroes

My grandfather was my hero. He passed away a few weeks ago, in his own home, his own bed, ninety-nine years young, as he liked to say. Don't be sad for me! I miss him, yes, but he lived. He loved life, and he made sure to experience it to the fullest. He was my greatest influence and the best man I've ever known.
My high school graduation. 

 When I sit down to write, I try to create men like him. Kind. Gentle. Determined. Strong. Ethical. Adventurous. When I read books, or watch movies or shows, I look for the heroes who live by the same principles. He put the needs of others before his own without ever compromising himself in the process. 

He was born at the end of WWI and enlisted in WWII (Army/Air Force) but he never got to fight. He scored so highly on tests that he skipped basic training and went right into intelligence and meteorology. He would predict the weather for flights (and missile tests) and come home (when he got to come home) with a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist (yes, they really did that).
He was stationed all around the world, but his favorite city was Paris. 

Fortunately, he retired before I was born. Growing up,  I never had to be without my Papa. He was the one who comforted me when my older sister got invited to cool parties and I didn't. We went on "dates" to fancy restaurants, just the two of us. I would wear my best dresses and try to impress him by ordering the most unpronounceable thing on the menu. Escargot, frog's legs, oysters on the half shell... I tried them all, and more, before I was eight. I still love trying new foods, the weirder the better.

With my son, his first great-grandchild.

Every October, when the leaves changed, he would tell me the trees were putting on their party dresses for my birthday. When I turned forty, he gave me a card that transformed into a crown so I would know that I was still, always, his princess.
My Papa. December 1917 - March 2017

The world needs more heroes! Or, we need to hear more about real heroes. Tell me about yours! 



 

3 comments:

  1. Sherri, I'm really sorry about our grandfather. He sounds like a great guy. I'm sure your heart is breaking into a million pieces. Sending love and tender hugs.

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  2. Thank you, Linda! I'm so lucky to have had him in my life.

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  3. What a blessing to have had him in your life. Thank you for telling us about him xxxx

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