Monday, May 25, 2009

Remembering Grandpa

This morning while still in bed after enjoying the bliss of sleeping in on a three day weekend, the first thing I did was check my email on my phone and found myself reading this beautiful email from my grandmother in honor of my grandfather...

"It occurs to me that today as we remember all those who died in service to this country, we should also take a moment to honor the service and sacrifice of your father and grandfather, Jack Shaffer, who served this country with honor and integrity for over twenty years.  Some of you knew him well, some who were very young when he died may only have shadows of memory of your Grandpa Jack.
What I hope you will know and remember about him was his strong sense of duty and his loyalty to this country and to those brave men he served with during the Viet Nam War.  He may not always have agreed with the decisions made by his government, but he never questioned his duty to follow his orders wherever they led him. 
And he was not the only one who made also made sacrifices as your father was away.  You missed his presence in your lives, and the ability to share your own moments of trial and triumph with him.  You were not able to see him on Skype, or to e-mail or phone him as military families can do these days.  Your only connection were his daily letters home and an occasional voice tape....and the memories that sustained you.  I know that there were many moments that you longed to talk to your dad, to have him here to enjoy his whimsical morning 'get up calls' and his sourdough pancakes.  I want you to know that I honor your sacrifice also.
What I also want you to know is that if he could be here at this moment, his heart would swell to bursting with pride at the responsible, loving and strong people that all of you have become.  He had strong values about stepping up to life's challenges without complaint, about taking responsibility for yourself and your actions, about respecting those in authority over you and meeting your obligations at work and at home.  His expectations of others were high, but none more so than what he expected of himself.  He wasn't perfect, but he always gave his best...and that was enough.
I know that the very best of your dad and granddad lives on in all of you, and for that I am extremely grateful.
Much love to each and every one of you.  You are so precious to me.

This email really touched me, and made me think about what this day really means. I can so quickly forget, and go about the day enjoying my "day off" when really we are supposed to remember. Thats what this day is about... remembering those who have fought for us, some even gave up their lives. What a wonderful thing it is that we have an entire day to commit to remembering them and celebrating all they have done for us. Here are some photos of my heroic grandfather.... Thank you grandpa Jack... and thank you grandma for reminding me what today is about.

grandpa, dad, uncle, grandma

grandpa and grandma, with my dad, uncle, and aunt.

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." John 15:13


  1. Great Post. It's so awesome that you have those pictures.

  2. I know aren't they cool? My dad has thousands of them in the form of slides... As in the kind you view through a projector... I guess it was the cool thing to do back in the day to have everyone over to watch a slideshow of your family photos. I say we bring it back... That's so stinkin' cool. Anyways these are ones that my dad scanned and we now have them digitally.