Monday, November 11, 2013

The Fall of an American Hero

It hit me a little harder yesterday. The history. The battles. The joy. The pain. The sadness. The life.

Papa Roscoe's 90th Birthday 9-9-12

As I walked down the hall, I tried to smile. I tried to offer encouragement to those around me. I tried not to think about how bleak it all looked.

When I got to the door, I stopped short. I appreciated the flag placed outside the door next to his name, but it made me sad. The colorful cards, the thank you's written in that bright playful sloppy hand writing that can only belong to a child, did little to lighten up the room.

Logan's 2nd Birthday Party 6-13

When I entered the room, those light blue eyes that have seen so many things in the past 91 years, brightened up just a little bit. The laugh lines etched in his weathered face deepened from the surprise visit of his oldest grandbaby and youngest great-grandbaby.

Logan's 2nd Birthday Party 6-13

It was hard on me to see my once strong, independent grandfather sitting in that wheel chair in his private room at the nursing home. Its hard to hold onto those hands that have been calloused over time and again from mending fencing and working in the garden. Its hard hearing that rough voice that for more years than I can count, called to cows every evening at feeding time. Its hard knowing that this man is the one & the same who once stormed the beaches of Normandy during World War II 69 years ago.

Christmas 1989

After a recent urinary tract infection and short stay in the hospital, Papa needs therapy to build his strength back up. I'm not sure how long he will be there, but I can't help but wonder if this will become his permanent home. This was the same nursing home where my grandmother spent some of her last days 11 years ago. You can see that those memories are still haunting him.

50th Wedding Anniversary 1996

Unfortunately, I had to leave all too soon. I leaned down, hugged his neck, & told him I loved him. His response, as always was "yeah". I don't think I have ever heard him tell anyone he loved them, but we all know he does.

I managed to make it out of his room before the tears started falling.

Today, November 11, 2013 is Veteran's Day. I am thankful for both of my grandfathers, my uncle, my daddy, & countless others who have served, fought, & died to provide a better place for me, my children, & one day, my children's children. I am thankful today & everyday for those who so bravely stood up for a cause they were willing to die for.

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