Friday, May 13, 2011

Grandpa John

Often times, funerals rush by in a blur. Or at least they do to me anyway. It was my first semester in college, the fall of 2005 and I was adjusting to life on my own when I got a call from my dad. My Grandpa John had passed away at the age of 93. 

Unfortunately, I had to begin dealing with death at a young age. The first funeral I had to attend was at the age of twelve for a good family friend. I knew the drill, knew the steps...but I also knew this funeral would be much harder. It did rush by in a blur, but these are the things I remember the most:

*holding my sisters hand walking into the funeral
*the eerie feeling of Grandma and Grandpa's house
*seeing the American Flag being presented to my Grandmother as she broke down in tears
*hearing twenty one gun shots

My Grandpa was not only an amazing husband, father and grandfather, but a soldier in World War II. I don't think I ever heard him talk about the war, just stories about coming home and meeting Grandma. And how they raised four kids together. And how cheap gas used to be. 

Grandpa never spoke about the was sort of an unspoken rule not to ask about it. And I prefer not knowing the stories. I never wanted to remember him somewhere far away fighting for his country and his life. I wanted to remember him giving me Big Red gum, and money for slurpees, and sitting in the background of family gatherings simply shaking his head and saying "we sure do have fun..." And that's how I remember him every day when I look at his dog tags.

Below is a collage I made during my time at GVSU. We had to make them in a digital class and could create it about anything we wanted to. The writing is actually from a letter from Grandma Ruth about my other Grandpa Bruno...but we'll get to them shortly! The rest are pictures I adore of my Grandfather, showing his dedication to his family and country.

Please email me at if you are interested in sending a care package or letter to a soldier in the service now. 

Be the change. Make the difference.  

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