Drifting thoughts of a snowflake

Monday, March 01, 2004

Old men and fighter pilot's

When I decided to get married, my grandfather was one of the first people I wanted to tell. I always envisioned him walking me down the isle.

My grandfather, Poppy, grew up in a small town in East Texas. If you don't know anything about Texas, East Texas is notorious for backwoods people. Hillbillies and rednecks stereotypically. At times Poppy could fall into this category. It was one of those things you look past when it's family.

Poppy's family earned their living farming a little plot of land. He would tell me stories about laying in the fields and staring up at the sky waiting for a plane to fly by. He said it was rare to see one, so much of his time was spent daydreaming about it.

He would tell me stories about being mischievous in school (I know where I got it from now), and how he fell in love with my grandma. We would laugh when he would tell us how Nano, my grandmother, was trying to set him up with her friend. Evidently Poppy knew what he wanted.

He went into the military at 17. Lied about his age, so he could fly. Went off to WWW II, Korea, and Vietnam smiling, I'm sure. Came back from POW camp as white headed as a rabbit, but not so timid.

The best advice he gave me was, "Girl, fly straight and spit in their eye". Poppy didn't make excuses for women. I believe my grandmother probably had something to do with that. He was always there to support me, and to tell me I could do anything.

I'm adopted, and happy to say Poppy gave me my first bottle. He also had his car ready to go and parked outside the court house on my hearing for adoption. He laughs and tells me if they had said no, we would be speaking Spanish right now and have great tans.

My dad tells me that Poppy has two months to live. It feels like he's lived forever to me. He's made my life a beautiful place. His strength is always with me, especially when I'm scared. My stubbornness a reflection of his determination to fly. My dreams a mirror of his days in those fields.

I wish him the best in the clouds. I'm sure it will be one hell of a flight.

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