Wednesday, October 22, 2008
***My grandfather passed away at the age of 92, last night. It was time but it still hurts to let go. I loved that stubborn old man!!**
Yesterday I stepped out of my car and my foot landed on an artifact from 1926. Okay so its not quite that dramatic, it was a wheat penny. I flipped it over knowing it would be old, 1926 it read. Cool, then I started thinking, there is no telling where this penny has travelled since it was minted in one of the hmm five US mints or whatever you call them? No telling, it has seen several major world wars, the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, been to a Sock hop maybe? Purchased penny candy in an old general store, maybe even my great grandfather's? Really cool, it survived Woodstock, the Cold War and Oh my gosh "Bush Economics," because you know of course that everything wrong with our economy can literally be blamed on one single man (big eye roll.)
The only thing that I know personally that is older than that penny is my grandaddy (okay so technically he is not a thing) who was born in 1919, he will turn 90 years old this February and he is doing just fine. Every year about this time, he likes to start reminding me that his birthday is coming up. The funny thing is, he doesn't want a thing. If you gave him a gift he would say thank you and tuck it away never to be seen again. He just wants to be acknowledged, to count, to get credit for that year. He is strong except for his old knees. He hates being unable to plow and plant his fields. He is the last member of his immediate family He too survived all those events and milestones in our U.S. history. He married at 17 had two daughters and went off to the Phillipines at the end of WWII. My dear sweet grandmother who has been gone for ten years now, really had her hands full with him. He had the curse of the Irish, except he wasn't Irish. But about 15 years ago he had one stint in Rehab and that was all it took. He hated it hated it and thought no one loved him since they sent him away. He has never taken a drink again. About 5 years ago he decided smoking was too expensive and just quit, no patches, gum, hypnotherapy, he didn't gain weight or have a nervous breakdown. He is tough and strong and stubborn and I love him dearly. I am so glad my children will have memories of him. I am so glad he has lived far enough into my adulthood that I know to really listen to him when he tells me something. He comes from a long line of long living stock. His mother whom I knew as Mama Addie Mae lived to be 98. Her grandfather lived to be 103. His name was Grandpa Beavers and my mother remembers him. How many people can say they knew their great great grandfather? I guess my point is to appreciate artifacts whether they are objects like wheat pennies or dear old grandpas, just don't let them know you call them an artifact. Both have lots to offer and stories to tell.