It's Tuesday so stop by Two Writing Teachers to join tonight's link-up and conversation. There's something about moving from blog to blog to savor the little stories that make us smile.
"Blood is thicker than water, but love is thicker than blood." --- Garth Brooks: Thicker Than Blood
Many years ago my grandma, a widow with two small boys, married this man. Who would have known that this one decision would shape so many events that would follow? He worked hard for his family. He eventually landed a good job with a progressive company. This job helped him to raise three boys into adulthood.
Growing up, I spent a lot of time with Grandpa and Grandma. Grandpa would come home from work, sit down in his chair, and relax a bit before dinner. He was the king of keeping me occupied. He always had a puzzle nearby we should try to puzzle out. He'd play a game of Kerplunk or a few hands of Cribbage. He taught me to play chess though I rarely was able to win. He would endlessly keep his eye on his watch while I would try to increase the amount of time I could stand unwavering on one leg. As I've grown older I've realized he apparently was wise in ways to calm a child.
Grandpa kept the best stash of treats. Grandma always had plenty of food for us at her house. She made graham cracker sandwiches with homemade icing. She kept a fruit drawer full of tangerines and apples. She canned applesauce and peaches. She bought milk from the farm with the frothy layer of cream resting at the top of the jug. Though she had all of these treats always ready, nothing was as tasty as Grandpa's bag of Keebler Iced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies or a dish of his vanilla ice-cream.
As I got older I learned of the stories that went along with this man. I learned about his mother who died when he was much too young. I learned of his service to our country testing planes before they would go into battle, putting them into a dive and hoping they would come out. I learned about how he had met my grandmother after her first husband had died in Iwo Jima during World War II. I learned of the work he did with his company and was amazed as I started working with computers to realize all he knew about programming. I never saw him give up and he was always one to do the right thing.
Stories of heroes are often told about the battlefield, but sometimes the real stories are wrapped deep inside our hearts. They are the stories that shaped our lives and made us who we are today. I know I am who I am today thanks to the love and hard work of this man. My grandfather, a man of honor and integrity, is in many ways responsible for where we all are today.