My paternal grandfather……
When I look at him I see the backbone of our family. That’s probably what most think of when thinking of their grandfathers. I’m not sure. Coming from a divorced marriage where both parents remarried as well as grandparents who were divorced and remarried you can imagine the sets of grandparents I had! Seeing pictures of them as children or anywhere near the age I am at the time always amazes me.
Who were they really? Don’t get me wrong I knew my grandparents but only as a child. Only what they wanted me to know, so to speak.
Well as usual I begin my topic in one direction and head another.
I received this picture in the mail today.
My paternal grandmother passed away in July. She was my last remaining grandparent and had suffered from Alzheimer’s for some years. My paternal grandfather passed away many years ago.
As a child I would go to my PopPops bedroom. The picture above was framed on his dresser. He met my grandmother, in uniform at A Niagra Falls photo shop. He told her he was off to war and would return in 1 year to marry her. He did exactly that. She immigrated from Canada to the United States. They had 5 kids, Army brats. They lived all over the world. I would look at this picture, try to imagine what his deep blue eyes had seen. I knew he had a rough childhood. Is that why he joined the Army. I wondered if he looked like this before he went to war or after. I didn’t know what the rankings were or metals.
He was my hero. My protector.
Although in reality arthritis had set in and he could barely move at times, he was a recovering alcoholic and not as
my imagination made him to everyone else, he was that perfect to me. He was MY POP POP! We counted rail road cars together, visited friends at the dry cleaners, went to the hardware store, bbq’d, tinkered in his shop, worked in his office which was his enclosed garage. We just hung out.
I was extremely blessed with a relationship like this with most of my grandparents. By the grace of God!
When my grandmother passed my dad asked if there was anything I wanted from their home. I told him of the picture. He was unsure exactly which one. He said he would do what he could.
Months went by. At my brothers wedding last weekend my aunt brought an envelope to my dad with a special something she saved just for him, as the eldest son. As my dad opened the envelope I began to see my new spark of light that comes in my right eye. I knew who the light was and I knew what was in the package. ( my spark of light just flew by as I typed this). He opened it. I said “that’s the picture”.
My youngest brother was standing there. The one I least understand. My dad held the picture up to him. The resemblance is uncanny. Timing is everything. I got the message that I needed to be more understanding and I received the picture. Oh and I finally figured out who my new angel was! Blessings everywhere!!!!