This picture of my grandparents was taken on my wedding day, in May 1997, a week before their 55th wedding anniversary.
June 6, 2011
My grandparents wedding anniversary
Would have been 69 years today
Grandma smiles from heaven
Grandpa will join her there soon
He’s ready to go when the day comes
He’s fought off death since 9 months old
The doctors didn’t think he’d make it
God had a plan for him
For each of his descendants too
Ten great grandchildren
His strongest legacy
The Line Continued
He’s held each of us as babies
He loves us as we are
We know without hearing the words
Look for the twinkle in his eye
He’ll growl at you with a grin
It’s a literal growl too
He signs his e-mails, “Gr.”
I reply, “Dear Grrrrrrrr,”
A Grizzly Bear of a Man
He’s moved mountains in his lifetime
More than John Henry ever did
He knows the Power of the Pen
He’s used it well
Speak up and say your piece
Don’t leave a job undone
Or worse, do a shoddy job
Take your time
Do it right the first time
That’s The Thompson Way
High Standards In All Things
Don’t reach the bar
Beyond the Stars
You can be anything you want to be
They saved their pennies
They went without
They worked hard
They invested wisely
They provided for their family
Even when their children were grown
They didn’t stop but kept on giving
From The Rainy Day Fund
That was overflowing
College is paid for
Life insurance too
Help for house down payment
Appreciated through and through
It’s the people that make
the place so special
The Home Place
My Heart Home
atop the bluff
overlooking the Mighty Mississippi
He’s lived alongside it
His whole life
From 9 months old to 95
He’s still alive and kickin’
He left her banks for just awhile
to fight a war in Europe
World War II
He trained and led a group of men
Better soldiers for having known him
“Tiger” to some
Wounded but survived
Served his country
Came Home to his wife and daughter
Music is his “fun”
Poetry and prose
He’s writing still
Creative juices flowing
A storyteller at heart
Like his mother
And his uncle
His daughter too
A long line of writers
Now I join them
These Evergreen Trees line the road that runs alongside the alfalfa field. They’ve been there for many many years.
My sister would always say, “There’s Grandpa’s River” as we rounded the bend and The Mighty Mississippi first came into view. Grandpa’s River. So true.
A fall view from atop the bluff looking out towards the Mississippi below taken in November 2010.
The Big Brown House. Also the title of a poem by my grandfather that I love dearly.
The Writer At Work. I took this picture of my Grandfather tweaking his latest story from the seat where I was reading his other recent work in March 2011. He’s writing still. Poems. Stories. Preserving History of the Area. Always working. Words flowing. Keys tapping. There are more stories to tell.
As soon as I wrote the date, “6-6-11”, at the top of my journal page I remembered the significance of the day. June 6th will ALWAYS be My Grandparent’s Wedding Anniversary. For as long as I live. The inscription inside my grandma’s wedding band read, “REJ to EAT 6-6-42”. It cost $10. Grandpa never had one. It was wartime. 50 years later, she lost it, digging in her garden. He offered to buy her another ring. She declined. They celebrated 63 anniversaries together before her death in May 2006, just a month shy of their 64th. I remember the parties for their 40th, 50th and 60th along the way.
My grandfather is A Teacher At Heart. He’s the one who taught me to add a note with Context at the end of my poems. He adds History Lessons to his endnotes as well. In honor of that tradition, here is a link for more information on John Henry, a man best known for his power and might at swinging a hammer tunneling through the mountains of West Virginia for the railroad.
The Highlight Of My Day is this note I received via e-mail from my Grandpa, in response to my poem, “In the Smokies”:
“It looks like you have inherited the family talent, and also the urge to transfer your thoughts to paper. In this you are fortunate, as the two do not always go together.
Writing is very satisfying, at least it has been to me.
THAT says it best.
This photo shows some of the books written by Erwin A. Thompson. There are many more…
“In the Smokies”
To learn more about my grandfather’s service in WWII read, “The Hardest Decision I Ever Had to Make,” written by Erwin A. Thompson and posted by my aunt, Janet Riehl, at http://www.riehlife.com.
© 2011, Janean Baird Turquoise Tangles