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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Men of Honor

I'm late writing something today because I enjoyed having my husband home from work for the Veteran's Day holiday. We were busy around the house today but all day I've been thinking about the special men and women who serve their country. Two men in particular were on my mind. Both of my husband's grandfathers served in World War II, one in the Air Force and the other in the Army.

Let me say that I absolutely adore my grandparents-in-law! I have never been particularly close to my own grandparents, although my relationship with my dad's mom has gotten a lot better in the past few years. She is 91 years old now and her last remaining sibling died last month. I've realized with each passing year that my time with her is short. My love for Chuck's grandparents started when we were just dating. They are four very special people and I have loved every moment I've had with all of them for the past 12 years. Each one welcomed me into their family and made me feel loved. I have always felt a special affection for older folks, I think because my great grandmother was so very precious to us. I adore spending an afternoon visiting with an elderly relative, asking them questions and listening to their stories of the past. I never really had a chance to know my grandfathers very well. Both of them died before I graduated from high school. I always told my husband how lucky we were to have all four of his grandparents in our lives for so long.

Things have changed tremendously in just two short years. Grandpa passed away last February after several weeks in the hospital. Grandma has since moved into a nursing home. On my mother-in-law's side, Pop had a severe stroke in March of this year. He survived but he has lost the ability to speak and has paralysis on one side. Granny spends every single day visiting him in the nursing home. It is so hard to see him going through this but he continues to inspire and amaze me even more than he did before the stroke - and that's saying a lot!

After the war, Grandpa worked for 30 years as a Farm Labor Representative for the State of Louisiana. After he retired he worked diligently around his home, maintaining his garden and lawn and cutting his own firewood until he was well into his 80s.

Pop grew up in South Louisiana speaking French as his first language. He worked with his father as a boat builder before becoming a preacher and lifelong missionary. He continued using his amazing carpentry and woodworking skills until the very day of his stroke at the age of 86.

Each of these men served his country with honor and pride. They returned home from overseas to marry their beautiful wives, raise their children, and eventually become wonderful grandfathers. I am so honored to call these two my family, even if by marriage.

Happy Veteran's Day.

8 comments:

sharonvw said...

Oooh, I LOVE old photo's like that. Cherish what time you have left with the Grandparents, mine are all gone and I miss them dearly.

Andi said...

Very sweet! You're a great blogger!!!

I Believe in Miracles said...

What a great tribute!!

Thanks for the prayers too. I really appreciate them.

Alicia said...

I love those photo's. What a way to honor your grandparets! I have a special place in my heart for veterans, and enjoy hearing about their stories. When I see an old man wearing one of those veterans hats it always brings a tear to my eye. And I wonder what his story is.

Teresa said...

Those were great stories! I love that kind of stuff. I'm an old soul and oh how I LOVE Louisiana!!!! Your post gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling. Thank you!

Andrea said...

What a great post! That's awesome that you have had the opportunity to have them in your life!

Connie said...

I loved this post! Bless their sweet precious hearts!

Sunny said...

those are great pictures! My MawMaw-in-law was the most precious woman. I was closer to her than my own grandmothers. She was warm and loving and just had the best sense of humor. She died 2yrs ago this past February and I was truly in mourning. Mr.'s family sat me down in the living room with everyone around the evening after her funeral and handed me a box. I opened it to find her strand of pearls. I bawled like a baby for I don't even remember how long. What a priceless and precious gift.