Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday's Fond Memory
Old Family Photo
From time to time I take a break from the entirely self-aggrandizing Fond Memory and reflect on the memories my grandparents or parents have shared with me. This week I feel like it is necessary to share with you my Grandma's brother, Bob. This is a picture of Bob, probably four or five months old, the first child born to my Great Grandparents - both children of immigrants. I don't know if the photographer was light-years ahead of his time and suggested that my great-grandfather stare adoringly at his baby, or if this was by chance. I like to think at the last minute he took a quick glance and the flash bulb caught the moment forever. Bob would be a big brother to six other siblings. Before he finished high school, he fudged his age to go into the service when the Second World War was in need of brave men. He has written out a 30-or-so page memoir of his experiences overseas, and it is peppered with humor and vivid images of seeing natives on little-known islands, and other experiences of a 17-year-old far from the little Nebraska town he called home. Upon return to the states he was dropped at the nearest 'big' town and hitch-hiked his way to the front door of his mother and father's home, where he knocked and they unexpectedly met their son, forever changed and far more mature to be sure (I can't imagine how nerve-racking war is today, let alone before email and cheap phone cards, to not know when to expect your son home...what incredible news it would be!) Back in his home town he would build an incredible construction company, making him a very wealthy man, along with six children and later countless grandchildren. I have met him a few times, and his quick wit gives glimpses to his smarts, while his humor explains why my grandmother adores him. I share today about Bob because his time on earth is drawing to a close, as his heart has become very weak and other medical issues have set in, perhaps only hours or days are left. It is amazing to look at the little baby in this picture and comprehend the amazing life that lie before him. It is wonderful to observe a life that braved so much, accomplished so much, and (for me) my grandmother loved so much. He was her big brother, and to watch her talk about him you can almost see the little girl again, admiring her brave big brother.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your entry was very kind and everyone in Kearney appreciated it.