Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Across generations. . .

The world is so full of treasures, if we are just looking for the right things.  I've been up to my elbows in treasures lately.

I never knew my Grandpa Pierce, my mom's dad.  He died as the result of a horse-training accident when my mom was only 18.  But I was so close to my grandma, and my grandpa was such a family legend by the time I came around that I've always felt a bit like I knew him.

Recently, I had the unexpected pleasure of reading some words he'd scribbled in a notebook during WWII.  I first came across this brief description:  "In our lives there are moments we would like to prolong, and places we hate to leave.  When I climbed the series of ladders and finally stood out in the fresh ocean breeze off the flight deck, and saw the waves softly lapping the light sands of Waikiki beach with the tropical city of Honolulu in the distance backed by beautiful highlands, I was conscious of such a moment and such a place.  Aloha Hawaii.  Monday, November 5, 1945."

On the very next page, he wrote the following brief poem:

"As I sit with your picture
before me
My mind wanders aimlessly
To the times that we've
spent together
And wish dear that I could come back.

Yes I'm wishing that I could
come back dear
To the sweetheart of all of my
To the land of the lakes
and the mountains,
and the beautiful tumbling streams.

Its not just the lakes and
the mountains
That make me want to return
but the girl I left in the valley,
for you dear my heart always yearns"

I remember that feeling so often in Hawaii--wanting the moment to last, it was so beautiful.  But my longing for Montana never went away.  Montana always had my heart.

The differences meant more to me than the similarities, though.  My grandpa was there as a seaman, in the midst of a brutal war.  I was there as a single college student.  He left his family behind.  He had five small children at home, and seeing his affection for my grandmother makes my heart smile.  My mom wasn't yet born at the time the poem was written.  It makes me mindful that I am who I am, where I am, because he made it home to that lovely girl.  It makes me grateful that they found each other, and loved each other.

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