Grandfather: Peter V. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   My grandfather, Peter, was born in 1928. Hismother died when he was five, a memory that still makes him cry. Growing upduring the Depression he had little, but he never complains about it. He nevercomplains about anything.

He served in World War II as an engineer, whichis where he met my grandmother, Vivian (after whom I'm named). He calls her Pennybecause of her once copper-colored hair. Her hair is stark white now, but I don'tthink he'll ever realize it. Even if he did, it wouldn't matter.

Grampa always had midnight-black hair himself until abouthis 71st birthday. I remember watching home movies of him and my grandmother. Healways looked so handsome.

I love to talk to him. He tells me about whenhe was little and how he would sneak onto the set of "Gone With TheWind." He watched the filming of that famous scene in the burning warehouse.He says three fire departments were called in. Maybe they were, maybe theyweren't, but I believe him.

My grandparents have been married 51 years,which really blows my mind, especially because more than half of marriages end indivorce. They have always been loyal to each other.

I've never knownkinder, more loving people than my grandparents. Even when the rest of theirfamily wouldn't accept me, they did. They looked past blood and genes, and lovedme. I will remember that always.

My grandfather was always healthy, butrecently he has been very ill and had two heart surgeries. Even with all that, henever fails to smile when I see him, even when it hurts. The doctors say he hasmade it much further than expected, knock on wood. Every time I leave him, hisfrail arms hug me tight and I hold my tears in as hard as I can until we are outof sight. Another year, another 3,000 miles.

My grandfather is the mosthumane person I'll ever know. And, God willing, I won't need to just"remember" him quite yet.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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