Thank You to My PopPop

American_Flag_with_trees_and_buildings

One of my favorite memories of my husband and grandfather was the first time they met.

My grandfather had suffered a stroke many years before and he had trouble speaking and swallowing. As we sat in my grandparents’ small living room, my husband began to talk to my grandfather, like nothing was wrong, like conversation came easy and he was patient as the answers came slowly.

He asked him questions about his time in the service during WWII, and to my delight, my grandfather spoke. He spoke more words than I had heard him speak since his stroke. He told stories in halting sentences and stilted paragraphs about his time on the battleship, his time at boot camp. My husband, a military history expert, asked interesting and intelligent questions, and my grandfather was happy. I could tell he was happy that someone was asking him more than the mundane, usual questions:”Are you comfortable?” or “Are you hungry?” or “Do you want a nap?”

I fell in love with my husband 100 times more that afternoon in Maine. I will never forget the sun streaming in the window, my husband and grandfather chatting as if a stroke hadn’t crippled my previously strong, imperious grandfather.

Thank you, PopPop, for your service to our country. I miss you.

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