His Legacy

I never knew him.

All I’d been told my entire life was that he was my grandpa, a farmer, a Navy vet, and that he’d died before I was born.

There were pictures of him at my grandma’s house…a few, but he was rarely spoken of. His stories were never told. It was as if everything he ever was…and everything he brought to the lives of those around him…died right along with him.

And I spent my childhood wondering about this man…my mom’s dad. Wondering how my life might have been different had I grown up knowing him.

There are two lessons I’ve taken away from never knowing my Grandpa A.

The first is that no person’s life is so insignificant that it cannot leave a mark on the world. His stories may not be told, but my grandpa left behind twelve children, eleven of whom are still alive. In their own ways, they’re leaving their own footprints on the world…and extending his legacy.

I’m sad for myself and for most of my cousins…that we never knew him. We never bounced on his knee, never wrapped our arms around his neck, never had even one photo taken with him so we could have that memory.

I’m also reminded that stories are worth sharing…the good and the bad. There are things that have been shared in recent years about Grandpa’s life…things that aren’t the most admirable. Yet, they are part of who he was…and it’s a shame that those are the things I know of this man.

I want to know more.

The picture I noticed during one of my most recent trips back to my hometown is one of him in his Navy uniform. So, regardless of other things that may mar who my grandpa really was, he is one of the men that we, as a nation, honor today.

He fought for our freedom.

He sacrificed.

And he left behind a legacy that’s worth talking about.


Speak Your Mind