10.30.2004

Grandpa

My grandpa on my mom's side passed away this week. His funeral was saturday. When i heard, i was pretty shocked, because i didn't think his health was in that bad of shape even though he was 81.

It doesn't hit you until you see them. I was fine, and expecting the funeral to go alright, as well as a funeral could. But when I saw him laying there in the casket, I just broke down. My whole family did. I spent time with my grandpa, but i never knew him really well, so i figured i'd be alright, but it was so hard to see him like that.

My other grandpa, who i was closer with, died a few years ago, but he was cremated and we never saw the body. So this was the first time i've seen an immediate family member not being alive. I think it may have been my first actual realization of mortality.

What made it worse was talking to my family about his past and seeing the earlier pictures of him. I always knew he was in the army in WWII, but never knew what specificially. He went to college for two years, got bad grades, and then decided to enlist in the Army Air Corps, which is the modern day Air Force. And what made me even more sad was that's exactly what im doing with my life. Bad grades, enlist in air force. Then seeing all his younger pictures, he bared a strong resemblance towards me.

Since he was former military, they also draped his coffin with a flag, then folded it, and played taps while they lowered the coffin. I think part of the reason this made me cry so much, and made me so upset was because it was like looking into my future. Right now, I'm doing what he did in 1943. That's how I'm going to be buried, God willing i make it to the air force.

As always, once someone dies you realize what you should have done. I should have talked with him more about his service, about his college experience, because we would have been able to relate a great amount. However, I can't change that. But I was given his Army Coat, with his wings and ranking on it. I know this is going to be something that will motivate me through my time in the air force and through my life...knowing that he did it, he was in my position, and he made it through.

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