May 30, 2011

Why We Celebrate

Every year my family arranges schedules and life to meet at my parent’s lake house for Memorial Day. Usually it is an excuse to relax for three days on the water and the lake always seems to make reality disappear.
Now that I have two little ones, traveling is not so easy. Sleeping arrangements are never ideal and I am usually awake most of the night with at least one child who feels out of sorts in the new place. Saturday night sleeping at the lake house was no exception. Although at 2:00 AM I found myself thinking more about the real reason for Memorial Day and less of my personal irritation and sleep deprivation.
I immediately thought of my late Grandpa W. He served in the Navy during the Korean War. There were always grand stories to tell and pictures of his hands buried deep in pearls found during his adventure.  He was the type of man who worked hard in life and was always in the mood for a Western!

Grandpa was the man who tried to snatch our nose and sang little tunes without words. He would fulfill the cliché and bounce us on his knee.
Most importantly, he would put you in your place. When I was young, he was slightly intimidating, but as I grew older I realized his zeal was meant to motivate and drive others to do their best. I chose the better private college because I knew he would be proud of that decision. In the end, he taught me to always remember the reason why I chose a certain path and that doing your best always wins.

Grandpa was a man I am glad to say was there to dance with me at my wedding. And he was ecstatic to learn we were pregnant with a (strapping) boy! 

I’m sure there is so much I still have not learned about his honorable life, but the things I do remember still make me smile.  May he rest in peace and the memories he left behind continue to bring joy to our hearts. He reminds me of why we celebrate life and the memory of those people who gave up their life for a greater cause. 


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