Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Tradition continued

 My wife's Uncle George would have been 95 today. A veteran of WW2 and a man with a kind and gentle soul. He was born with a bad leg. I don't know the medical term for it but he walked with a limp. In later years that leg became so bowed as to prevent him walking. He never quit trying however and would move about as best he could. He had two chairs in his home, the kind with wheels on them, not exactly wheel chairs though as the wheels were all the same size. He kept one chair upstairs and one down. He had no lift on his stairs for reasons I don't know. I don't believe he ever wanted one. In his later years he also went blind. But he lived alone, in the home his parents had purchased until the day he died. Two years ago he fell down those stairs and that is where he passed. A tragic end to a life that was spent doing for others. Never married he stayed at home with his parents and took care of his mother for years after his dad had passed. A loving and caring son.
 I grew to know this man after I married his niece. We would go to visit him occasionally. We even had Uncle George come to our home for a visit. Other than going to the doctors he rarely went out. He lived in Baltimore and when he was still able could walk to the store. Then failing eyesight and a failing leg kept him at home. My wife's sister lived close by and would get his groceries for him and see to his needs. Uncle George was a man that loved his family. He had pictures and videos galore. Before his eyesight took that pleasure from him he couldn't wait to show you those pictures. In the early days of knowing him he often spoke of being on The Price is Right television show. Yes, he won the showcase. It was a crowning moment in his life that was evident. When he discovered I was a military man he told me about being in the war. Because of his leg he wasn't able to serve in a combat role but served in a support position. He didn't seek exemption from serving, no sir, he wanted to serve and serve he did.
 Uncle George had a banner, for lack of a better description, that says, " remember Pearl Harbor " on it. His tradition was that he put that banner in his front window every year about this time. He harbored no resentment towards the Japanese but displayed that banner to remember old comrades. He never wanted them to be forgotten. That terrible day at " Pearl " as he called it, was always in his consciousness. He wasn't there when it happened but the picture of it was.
 I asked for and was given that banner. It is worn and a bit tattered. I had to remount it on a piece of canvas to keep it from shredding into pieces. It is so old and dry that it would turn to dust if not taken care of. I feel privileged and proud to be the custodian. And so today on his birthday I will bring that banner out of storage and place it in my front window. It will remain there until December the eighth. I have decided that will be the new tradition. I think it fitting that the display begins on his birthday. I will limit it to four days to minimize the exposure of that fabric. Four days seems right. The war was four years long.

Uncle Georges' banner, In the frame that I received it in.