The grandpa I grew up with is not the grandpa I remember today; Remembrance Day, Veterans Day.
Growing up, to me he was lovable, huggable, jolly Gramp.
He was called Gene, by my Gram.
Dusty, by family and close friends – because of his semi pro days at third base.
And to us, the grandkids, Gramp.
Back then, I never thought about who he had been.
What had shaped him to the man he was.
He married my Gram on February 15, 1942 and entered bootcamp less than a month later.
By December that year, he was on a ship to Europe.
My Gram sacrificed two and a half years of her first years a bride as well.
We often don’t think about their love, loneliness, fear.
This past year as their home for over 60 years was sorted, emptied, and sold, my grandfathers war diary was uncovered.
Gram knew of it – she had given it to him.
But to the kids and grandkids, it is a treasure discovered.
Maybe I will be able to share some of its contents in the future.
For now, I will honor his privacy as we all begin to absorb the rawness of seeing a side to this man we thought we all knew so well.
May we remain thankful to those who have, and continue to protect us and our freedom.
And may we not take it- or them – for granted.