My grandfather wasn't a perfect person. By accounts of living relatives he sometimes had a temper. He could be a cantankerous man...difficult to get along with at times. (I think I inherited that genetic attribute.) Some have even said that he felt that he'd been given a raw deal in life. I wish he had lived long enough to see his children grow old and his grandchildren grow into adulthood. Gene had a hard life, and he might not have realized what he would call personal success in his own life. But he has a progeny that he would most certainly be proud of.
1912. Wow. In that year, the modern day Republic of China is established ending nearly three centuries of reign by the Manchu Dynasty. 1912 was also the year that the Japanese gifted the famous cherry blossom trees to our nation's capitol. This was the year that the Titanic struck ice in the North Atlantic and resulted in the worst maritime tragedy in history.
HERE. He entered the US Army and while in basic training, he was injured.
According to my Aunt Judy, there was a man at basic who open fired on soldiers, and my grandpa was instrumental in stopping him. In the process, he was also shot. He was honorably discharged from the military and received his veterans benefits for the remainder of his life. I heard this story for the first time just this past summer. Oh, how I wished that I could talk to him about his experiences in his life.
On my grandpa's 58th birthday, I was born. I have the distinct honor of sharing his birthday...March 21st...the first day of spring. One time when I was little...maybe 7 or 8, I remember that I sat in my grandpa's lap on my birthday, and he told me that I was his special granddaughter because I was born on his birthday. I honestly still remember that. It was one of the few times that I remember him addressing me directly. I know that sounds weird. He talked to me...don't get me wrong, but I remember this time as being particularly special.
This is a picture of a cake that my Aunt Donna made for a joint birthday party for me and grandpa. This summer, I was looking at this picture with some of my aunts and uncles, and there was a disagreement over whether this cake was for me or grandpa. My aunt actually had me convinced that it was my grandpa's cake...until my Uncle Bill said, "And what day is YOUR birthday?" (meaning mine). Man, did I feel silly. I just assumed that Aunt Donna was right...because she usually is ;-)
The little girl and fisher man cake theme reminded me of one of my favorite pictures of me and my grandpa. My dad drug me along this day on a fishing outing with his dad. I LOVED to go fishing as a little girl. I mean I really loved it, and I have good memories of fishing with my dad. This picture cracks me up...me in my patent leather shoes...in a life jacket (probably at my mom's insistence) as we are fishing off of what looks like a country road "overpass." Makes me smile every time I see it.
It reminds me of another grandpa I know who loves to hang out with his granddaughter while she plays on the floor.
I love you, Grandpa. I'm proud to be your granddaughter!