He was tall, with big calloused hands, and loving eyes; he was my grandfather. The earliest memory I have of his selflessness happened when I was about four years old. My grandfather had gotten knee surgery about three weeks prior, and my mother took me to visit him. I brought some of my miniature doll figurines with me to play with. He and my mother were sitting across from eachother in the living room while I sat on the floor playing. I got bored and asked my mom to play with me, she said no. I was slightly upset but my grandpa just smiled and told my mother that they could finish their talk later. After having said that he eased himself off the couch and onto the floor where he proceeded to play dolls with me, attentively listing as my wild imagination took over. Another memory I have took place when I was seven years old. It was Easter Sunday so my parents and I drove to see my grandparents. When we knocked on the door my grandpa opened it with a twinkle in his eye. He handed me a 'treasure map' ( which was really just a piece of paper he had stained and burned to make it look old) and he told me a story about a pirate who had lived in the town many years ago. He took my small skinny hand in his own large firm hand, and led me outside to his garden. "here's a shovel, kiddo. Let's see what that old pirate left you." I wondered around in his massive gardenbfollowing all of the clues until I reached a patch of damp soil with an X drawn into it. I jumped up and down with delight and began hurriedly digging. I stopped after I reached a small metal box. I snatched it up and looked inside. It contained many foreign coins ( probably from countries he had visited during World War II), a small antique pocket mirror, and $10. I was so excited I didn't even think about the fact that the pirate was suppossed to have died 100 years ago. At the time I was more overjoyed by the contents of the box, than the box itself. A few years later I learned that the little metal box I had recieved had been his lunch box as a young boy. He gave me a piece of his past. As the years went by he never lost his youthful humor or his love of the imagination. Every year around Christmas time he would give me a call to ask a question along the lines of "I don't have any white milk; do you think Santa would be alright with chocolate" or "What adress do I put on the envelope for my letter to Santa". I always tried to come up with new creative answers to his silly questions. It's been almost three years since his body set his spirit free. Sometimes I feel sad when I think of all the things he's missed : a granddaughter and a grandson each got married, my grandmother's renewed sense of humor, and my sixteenth birthday next month. Although, deep down I know he hasn't missed a single thing. His body may have been weak and tired, but his loving and charismatic spirit will remain strong for the rest of eternity.
A Man of the Red White Blue ( I Could Never Forget You)
June 30, 2010