As I try to remember him, I find myself failing, a fact that makes me sad but doesn't surprise me. I was only 4 and 1/2 when he died, so there wouldn't be many memories.
I'm talking about my grandfather, someone who is shrouded in mystery to me, as he hasn't been a frequent topic of conversation.
I know that he fought in World War II. I know that he was a Christian. I know that he loved me, and settled me in his lap (which I will always remember as big, even though it probably wasn't that big) and read to me. I know that his children didn't always believe exactly the same as he did and that caused a few arguments.
I know that when I was 4 and 1/2, I had the chicken pox and he and my grandmother came down to take care of me until I was better so my mom could return to work, but instead he died (he wasn't doing well, but he didn't want to focus on himself, but on his family). Only, in my memories, the chicken pox and his death aren't linked. They are seperate events. But then, it was so long ago and I was so little.
As Memorial Day approaches, I find myself wishing that he had lived longer (he was over 50 when my mother was born, so he had lived a long life by the time I came around), so that I could actually remember him. But mostly, I wish that he had lived longer so that I could have thanked him for serving his country and making the world safer for us to live in.
Since I can't say thank you to my grandfather, I'll say it to all the men and women who are serving, and their families. Thank you. I appreciate your sacrifice. I know it isn't much, but I'm proud to call you my fellow American. Thank you for protecting my freedom.
And to everyone else, please take some time to remember someone who has served or is serving this country.
P.S.: Thank you to my other family members who have served and who are currently serving in the military. Your service means a lot to me.