Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Death & a German soldier

My Grand Dad fought in WWII. Pretty cool, huh?

I would get bits & pieces of stories growing up, but he never got too graphic. How could he? He was too busy telling me how my earring made me look like a little girl & that my hat looked "stupid" backwards.
He died when I was about 13, from lung cancer. He was definitely an Army dude; even after he was diagnosed & they started him on all the necessary treatments, he still smoked. The last picture of him I had was on my 13th Bday. Smoking one of his uppity, skinny, douche bag cigarettes on the couch. Stubborn until the day he passed away in his bed;

One day my Mom came home early from work. She didn't like being home much when I was a kid, so when I heard her coming up the back steps in the middle of the day, I knew something was wrong. The look in her eyes confirmed my suspicion. She didn't say much, although she didn't say much to me anyway, so that wasn't anything unusual. However, I saw tears before she had the chance anyway.

"Damn".

I walked into my room, & in an odd act of grief, I changed my clothes. I had a USC pull over & my Grand Dad graduated from there. He was very proud of his alma mater, so I replaced my Black Bart t-shirt, out of respect, right before we left for my uncle's house.

When we got to my Dad's brother's house, my Grand Dad was in his bed, long passed away. I heard the adults whispering about how he was sort of smiling. I tried to see it, but No Dice. All I saw was my Grand Dad dead. No smiles, no grins, no type of personality whatsoever. If anything, I didn't see the same grimace from pain, so in hindsight he looked somewhat peaceful. Relaxed. More & more family gravitated to the house, & within a couple of hours, it seemed that all of my father's side of my family was crammed into my uncle's modest house. It turned into a party, & among all the grown folks reminiscing & children running about, small groups of relatives would check-in on my Grand Dad from time to time, as if he needed anything. If he were alive, he would have said "Everything I need is already here", granted he had a cigarette to complete the family gathering.

Eventually, the coroner was called, & they gathered the shell that was my Dad's Dad, & took him to the place that dead people go. That was the sad part. I'd never see him again. Funny but, out of all of the things I've forgotten throughout my years, some of which was very important, I've never forgotten his laugh, his smell, his voice & the plenty things he told me. I have a hard time remembering what I did last Thursday, but I can still feel my Grand Dad hug me. He bought me my first computer, first telescope, took me back & forth to junior high when I broke my leg & unbeknownst to me at the time, he'd been putting away money for me for when I graduated high school. I guess it's only right that my Dad is such a good GrandDad now.

Oh yeah, this was the point of my post. When he returned from the war, he'd brought my father a souvenir. It was a german pistol, a wallet chain & a knife. My Dad waited until I was an adult to show them to me. He said my Grand Dad & a german soldier had one of those one-on-one fight scenes acted out in "Saving Private Ryan", & obviously my Grand Dad won.

He killed the german soldier, & took his personal effects, just to drive home the point. I'm not sure there's any point left to prove to a man who one has just killed, but hey, those were different times. Then, when he returned to the States, he gave them to his son (my dad) in an ultimate show of "Your Dad's is no punk!". I could just imagine how a game of "My dad can kick your Dad's ass" would have gone;

"Oh yeah? My Dad murdered a man. & got paid for it, too".

"Okay, you win."

God Bless America & those who defend her honor.

4 comments:

Capital G said...

Damn Grand$, that's some real personal shit right here. To keep it one hundred, I'm a little touched. Your writing touched a nerve, totally wasn't expecting this. Keep up the phenomenal work homie.

JCITYHUSTLA61`7 said...

WOW THIS WAS AN AMAZING READ R.I.P 2 YOUR GRANDFATHER MY GRANDDAD ON MY MOMS SIDE DIED 2YEARS AGO I ONLY MEET HIM TWICE WHEN I WENT UP 2 PUERTORICO BUT THE MORE STORIES I HEAR ABOUT HIM THE MORE I WISH I KNEW HIM A LITTLE BETTER, BOTH MY GRANDMOTHERS ARE DEAD SO THAT MAKES ME APPRECIATE MY LIVING GRANDDAD ALOT MORE WHEN I WAS YOUNG I USED 2 THINK HE WAS A CRAZY OLD MAN BUT NOW I SEE HE IS SOMETHING SPECIAL NIGGA IS 82 AND EVERYTIME I SEE HIM HE GETS ME DRUNK LOL ONE TIME HE ASKED IF I HAD THE HOOKUPS ON VIAGRA HA HES FUNNY ON THE LOW CUZ HE'S A SERIOUS DUDE WITH MY POPS MAYBE CUZ HE LEFT HIM AT A YOUNG AGE SO I GUESS THEIR RELATIONSHIP IS DIFFERENT I GUESS BUT YEA THIS STORY WAS A NICE CHANGE OF PACE OF ALL THE NIGODROM I BEEN READIN ALL DAY THANKS FOR THE BREATH OF FRESH AIR YOU NEED A BOOK PUBLISHING DEAL OR SOMETHING

ThaKemizt said...

Nuff respect to all the vets, young and old, whether you stand behind the cause of the war(s) or not, that's the way it's gotta be, believe that. Not everybody has the courage to stand up and be counted when the time comes- their sacrifice is beautiful. Keep pouring that hot wax of reality into these niggas ears Grand$.

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