Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Man I Barely Knew

We recently celebrated the life of a great man.

This was a man I barely knew, though i feel as though i had known him. With all the stories I have heard and the way saw his family love him, I felt as though i knew him. Truth is, I had met him and been around in several times, but I did not know the man he was. Tragically, I knew a sickly remnant of what my husband knew as Grandpa John. He passed away on April 20th. 

I wish i had known him before he had gotten sick so that i could have heard what I am sure he wanted to say. He seemed to me to be a man who just wanted to share with everyone. He often tried to talk, but it was often difficult for me to understand. I honestly felt like he was trapped in a body that prevented him from being himself. I think his family might agree. 

I took the passing of Granpa John as an opportunity to learn about him and his life. 
Here's my tribute to a great man:

He was Italian in heritage and born in 1921. 

He grew up in Long Beach, California during the depression. 

He was there the day that will forever "live in infamy" 
He served in the Army during World War II with his brother and cousin. 
He worked as a volunteer to tell others about Pearl Harbor on the USS Arizona Memorial.

He was never afraid to share his beliefs, especially those that were political. 

He had 4 children with his wife Eugenia May, who he is now buried beside. 
On Sundays, he usually went and visited all of his children, their wives and children. 

My husband reading Grandpa John's account of what his experiences were like the morning of Dec. 7th, 1941. 
He had 11 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. 
He was cared for and deeply loved. 

Even though I feel as though i knew him, I cannot help but wish I had known him well before I did. For many this funeral was to say good bye, but for me this was, in a sense, a hello. I definitely learned a bunch about the last name that i now carry and I am proud to have this man's name. I only wish i had known him better!