2006 18/09


This weekend we returned to my home town to honor my grandpa.  The weekend went surprisingly well.  Friday night we just hung out with my parents and grandma, having dinner, sharing memories, and greeting my aunts, uncles, and cousins and they arrived.  Saturday was the visitation and the funeral.  So many people showed up to say goodbye to my grandpa and pay their respects to my grandma.  Since my grandpa had served in the Vietnam War, the men from VFW Post 607 (where my grandpa had been a very active member for many years) performed a full military funeral at the church.  It was so amazing and beautiful to see and experience all of the honor that enveloped these acts.  From each man saluting as they walked up the aisle to the readings to the playing of the bugle to them presenting the flag to my grandma….it was so touching.  I have never been so proud of my grandpa as I was during those moments.

It was so wonderful to watch as those men honored by grandpa through those military acts.  My grandpa loved this country and always had such a high respect for the military.  He lied about his age to join the Air Force when he was just 16, against his parents’ wishes.  He marched in every parade that he could and took part in the different Memorial Day events.  My favorite memory though was watching parades with my grandpa.  When members of the military would go marching by carrying the American Flag, my grandpa would silently stand to attention and would remain standing until the men had passed him by.  He never did this to draw attention to himself. He did this because this was who he was.  It was in his heart, in his spirit, and it that memory and sense of pride and honor has been ingrained into my heart and spirit forever.

All in all, it was a good weekend to reconnect with family and friends and to share memories of my grandpa.  It will be a tough year ahead though.  The holidays will be tough and next month will be tough as we would be celebrating my grandpa’s 75th birthday.  I feel as though I’m still in a bit of denial that my grandpa is actually gone.  I’m so sad that Abbi was not old enough to really know him.  I can only hope that through the stories, memories, and pictures that we share with her, that she will learn who this man was and why we all loved him so much.


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