Today would have been my maternal grandfather’s birthday.
He was born, got married, raised my mother and died. He worked as a tailor at a local department store in Nashville, TN, taught tailoring at a local high school, worked as a Pullman Porter to help transport troops during World War II, and taught community sewing classes at his neighborhood senior citizens center after he retired.
His biography doesn’t tell us about the details that made him unique. Like his sense of humor–he always had new jokes for us. Or how he taught us grandkids to play jack rocks, Rook and checkers. Or how he used to jump rope with us. Or about the time that he walked to my high school, attended my Home Ec class and showed the teacher and our class a few sewing tecniques, then walked home with me. Or how much he adored my grandmother. Or what a doting father he was to my mother. Or how he could draft patterns on paper bags and make us clothes. Or how he taught Sunday School and would tell us Bible stories.
Here’s a photo of the Flight 5191 Memorial. This sculpture depicts 49 birds in flight, 1 bird for each victim of the crash. Their names are inscribed on the base of the sculpture, and sealed within each bird is a cylinder in which the families placed mementos of their loved ones.
While looking at this memorial that honors the memories of the victims of this crash, I see souls soaring to heaven. It reminds me of my own loved ones whose souls have taken flight, but whose spirits still live within me as I remember them. Thanks, granddaddy, for being so much fun. I’ll never forget you.