My grandfather, William McKendry, passed away 29 years ago, today.
This photo was taken after Grandpop came home from WWII where he served in the Philippines. He brought back two souvenirs from the war: a bullet that was later removed and malaria. He drove an army ambulance, picking up the wounded on the front line.
Home, Grandpop could fix anything. He was a man who would only purchase American made cars. He preferred Chevrolets. I spent so many hours over many years standing next to him quietly in the garage watching him work his magic under the hood. He and I shared a similar reserved nature. Neither of us liked to be inside the house. Both of us liked to be busy doing something all the time.
Grandpop was my model of male behavior. Because my mother often left me with my grandparents for months or years at a time without warning, he was my anchor of stability.
He loved me and I adored him. Almost 30 years later, and still, the tears come when I think about how much I miss him. He was a man of his word and his integrity was unquestionable. He was a hero. For his country. For his grand daughter.
I love you, Grandpop. Thank you for everything you gave.