January 30, 2013

Do You Believe in Fairytales?

I have friends that could tell countless tales about their family history. I marvel at the stories and it is a treasure to see the photographs that often depict their tales. I however, have heard bits and pieces growing up of my own family history, but often would scratch my head and wonder.

A gypsy blooded girl with one illegal immigrant great-grandfather from Saudi Arabia, who after being denied access into the US at Ellis Island decided to jump ship and swim ashore, and a grandmother arrested for selling antiques that were not hers, and several shiny suited mafia looking "great uncles"... make my tales a little less normal than others.

Last May 10, on my 35th birthday, I attended my grandfather's funeral. He was the last grandparent I had alive. At his funeral my cousins shared Poppop's background that I was aware of,  but never knew all of. Recently I received a copy of this and photos that I treasure.

Poppop was the son of said illegal immigrant great-grandfather from Saudi Arabia and grew up athletic and adventurous. His senior yearbook said of him, "His nickname may well be called Flash. He is our basketball and baseball player. Fred is our tall, dark and handsome Romeo." The yearbook went on to predict my Poppop as becoming a professional athlete probably playing football.

Because his father wanted him to pursue a different major than he wanted, he didn't go to college. Even when he took his friend to fill out college paperwork and ended up in a pick-up basketball game where the coach, on the spot, offered him a scholarship, he still said no.

On Oct 6, 1945 he married my grandmother. She was diagnosed in 1981 with colon cancer and was not expected to live long. He decided to take early retirement from his management position so he could spend their last few years together caring for her.

Twenty-seven years later in 2008, on my mother's 55th birthday, my grandmother passed away.

Of all that he could have done during those years, I never heard him once lament what he had given up. What I did see was he repeated love and care for the woman he loved.

When my grandfather died I wrote about how I believe Emma, my grandmother, was waiting for him calling him home- http://www.sarahelink.blogspot.com/2012_05_01_archive.html.

History is filled with tales of love, honor and sacrifice. With battles exaggerated to make the hero's victory just a little bit sweeter.

While I don't believe in the damsel in distress come show me your undying love by rescuing me stuff, I do believe that there are some beautiful tales of love. Poppop's adoration for his bride is one that makes me believe that "happily ever afters" do exist.

1 comment:

Aimee @ SmallAnchors.com said...

so so sweet. what a great tale... what a devoted husband for men to follow!