Thursday, November 11, 2010

We Will Never Forget

Today is a very special day. It is a day where we take the time to remember and thank those who so selflessly served in the military; many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice.

My Grandpa Cliff served in World War II. For as long as I can remember I have had the privilege of listening to my Grandpa's war stories and looking at all his war time photos. Some of his stories are of pure bravery, some are just plain heart breaking but all of them leave me with a feeling of gratitude. Unfortunately the war took two of his brothers but their memories have lived on through my Grandpa and his family. My Grandpa is my real life hero.

I don't have words to describe the feelings I have for my Grandpa and his service. It is a strange mixture of pride, humility, gratitude and sadness. I know I will never quite understand what my Grandpa and his fellow soldiers went through but I sure am grateful to have the opportunity to try.
It was during the war, in England, that my Grandpa met my Grandma. My Grandpa once told me that the moment he laid eyes on my Grandma, he knew she was going to be his wife. They have now been married for over 64 years and are wonderfully cute together. My Grandmother is also such an amazing person who gave up so much during the war; including her first husband Dennis who was killed in action.

I had the absolute pleasure of going for lunch with my Grandparents today. My Grandpa looked so wonderful all decorated in all of his medals. It really warmed my heart when a complete stranger walked up and shook my Grandpa's hand and thanked him for all that he did. The best part was the little twinkle in both my Grandparents eyes as that man walked away. They made eye contact with one another and gave each other a little smile. Only they truly understand the sacrifices.
As my Grandpa was explaining his medals to me, he pulled the chain (in the picture above) out of his pocket. He told me that this was his good luck charm he carried with him in his pocket throughout the war. I looked at it and realized it was a picture of my Grandma. I had to pretend I was looking at it very closely to hide my tears.

I love you Grandma and Grandpa and your stories will be passed down by all of your children, Grandchildren, our children and forever.

This is a picture of my other hero. This is Nathaniel my brother-in-law. Nathaniel recently got back from serving over 8 months in Afghanistan. I remember the day he left along with every day of those eight months as if they were yesterday. The worry and heart ache you carry for a loved one overseas is difficult to describe. I can't even begin to imagine what it was like for my sister and all the other wives, husbands and parents of service people overseas.

This is Nathaniel serving in Afghanistan; he is the second from the left. Nathaniel is one of the strongest, most loving people I know. I have had the privilege of hearing his eye opening war stories as well. He returned from this war with a true appreciation for the little things in life and understands more than anyone the importance of family.
This is a picture from when Nathaniel arrived home safely. He was looking at my sister for the first time in a VERY long time. It is so neat that in both my Grandpa's and Nathaniel's case, they both had strong, amazing women behind them, keeping them going in times of despair.

My Grandpa Dave also spent his entire career in the Canadian army, retiring as a Chief Warrant Officer and my Uncle Dave served in the Gulf war. The strength, dedication and courage a person must have to serve is unimaginable. These are all my hero's, along with the service men and women that I have never had the pleasure of meeting.

Thank you for all that you do and all that you have sacrificed. We will never forget.


All That Jazz said...

Great post, what a wonderful tribute to your family members!! I love the good luck charm and that your grandparents have been together for 64 years!! That is amazing!

Jennifer said...

Great post! I am so aprecciative for all the Veterans-they are so brave- I don't think there are even words to describe how much they are appreciated. I also have had family members inlcuding ym Grandpa who served, who unfortunately is no longer here( due to illness). I am so happy that you are able to spend time with him! what a blessing! this brought tears to my eyes
These soldiers are definately heros!

Mannings said...

That's one of the sweetest stories about your grandpa. We lost my grandpa this year that served in the same war so I felt that it was extra close to my heart.

Also, I love where you live - I've been there a few times (clear from Utah) and I've gone to Buschart Gardens, one of my fave places :)

Rebecca said...

Beautiful post Jess...Grandma, Grandpa, Dennis, Nathaniel, and Grandpas two brothers are my heroes too!
You are such a little turkey asking me to read this post out loud too you! about a tear jerker!
I think a big reason Nathaniel made it home safe was because Dennis and Grandpas brothers were watching over him :)
I love you!

Marie a la Mode said...

This was such a beautiful, sad yet inspiring post. Thank you so much for sharing. I'm glad you got to spend time with your Grandparents on such a special day very dear to their heart.

Jenn said...

Wow! Thanks so much for sharing. You must have such amazing stories to pass down. Such a sweet love story too!

Ashleigh said...

This was such an amazing post that it almost made me cry ... sometimes we forget about how much has been given up for us that it is wonderful and so important to take a day to remember - you are so lucky to be blesed with these stories - they are gifts and the best kind that you can get and give. Your grandfather seems like a corageous and sweet man (love the charms)- I dont know him but want to thank him from the bottom of my heart - I have deep respect

Thanks for leaving the comment on my blog - otherwise, I might have missed the chance to read this!

AND you should totally try the peppermint mocha ;) Let me know if you like it! xox

Vintage Home said... wonderful to have a grandaughter as you!...Wonderful tribute to the fighting and fallen!...

Rebecca from See You in Sweden said...

This is such a sweet and really interesting post. Say thank you to your family members who are/have served for me, for their sacrifices! They have to give so much so it's nice to see that photo of the reuinitions :)

And as for superficial things, I really think the Stylit's great! I am crazily organized but I also think that my style inspirations come in waves so I love having the little models to plan out a ton of outfits while I'm on a role. Then I just refer back when I'm stuck. There's also a regular calendar so it's functional too and the quality's quite nice. Hope that helps!

Musings Of A Gem said...

This is such a sweet post!!!

Seeing the picture of your sister and Natheniel finally being reunited brought a tear to my eye!


Gemma x

Mrs. Adventure said...

What an amazing post, I smiled, I cried, thank you for touching my heart with your familys stories... tell your grandpa and grandma I said "THANK YOU".

Ms.Cupcake said...

your post made me teary...LOVE it. so honoring and respectful. Girl you have a way with words. Anyhow, thanks for checking into my blog even though I checked out for a for the comment on my duvet cover...I really love it and the best part? Found it at Home Sense! HOLLA!
hope all is well with you and congrats again on all your painting pieces! Where are you doing them all???

Ms. Emily Ann said...

What a beautiful post! I have all the same emotions when I think of my grandfathers and my father serving in the army... And the story of your grandpa's good luck charm brought tears to my eyes, thanks for sharing :)

Your brother-in-law and sister are so brave, and it's really amazing to see the picture of her welcoming Nathaniel home, what an incredible moment that must have been for them!

smile steady said...

What a touching post. It certainly warms my heart to remember all that they do for us!

Nerdic.. said...

x fashionnerdic

Jessica said...

Thank you so much to everyone for the wonderful comments. You are all so sweet and I am more than happy to share my stories with you. The best part is that I showed my Grandma and Grandpa the post and my Grandpa even read the comments :) It really made his day.