Dé Máirt, Márta 11, 2008

The man...

It's been a rough week. Last Sunday my Grandfather died. He was 85 and had not been doing well. When he caught a cold late last week the doctor knew that the only thing he could do was work through it on his on. It was a good guess. My grandfather worked himself through everything. At 75 he built his newest house with his own hands, eventually he had to be forced to stop so that he wouldn't hurt himself. He was stubborn to a fault, sarcastic, and a practical joker. You never knew exactly where you stood with my grandfather and that was the way he liked it. He dropped out of school after the eighth grade because his father was forced to retire from the Logging mill at the age of 75...the stubbornness runs in the family. He enlisted in the Army during WWII. He trained as a combat engineer and was shipped to the south pacific. He island hopped, spent time in the Philippines and latie, and was on a ship waiting for landing orders to invade Japan when the bomb was dropped. He never talked about the war, but we all understood. We listened to the stories he would tell and nodded with out questioning when he got silent. I never really knew that part of my Grandfather, but I knew that look in his eye. That glint that let you know he was up to no good, which was most of the time. I loved that look. I'll miss that look.

I didn't get to spend a lot of time with him these last few years. I tried to get up whenever I could but I normally wasn't around. We were alike in lots of ways, most of them mentioned above. I remember when I graduated from High school, He came down for my graduation party. He took me aside and started telling me about when he left for the army. He told me about how some of the boys he was with would cry at night because they were away from home for the first time. He looked me in the eye and said...Don't do that. I just had to laugh. He knew I was nervous about college, just the way he had been nervous about leaving for the army, but that was his way of telling me that I'd be ok. He was a good man. A brave, intellegent, loving, man, and I'll miss him. I just wish he and been well enough to come see me in the show. The last time I saw him, we hugged, he told me he was proud of me, and that he would be down soon to see the show. He never made it, but he wasn't a show guy so I won't hold it against him.

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