I don’t write much about my grandpa, because he died before I was 16. But he was a great man, always laughing and telling funny stories. I think Grandpa is the first person to ever tell me a story like a fairy tale. He was a wonderful story teller, an art which is all but lost, unless you count rappers.
He was a big, proud man but in the latter part of his life, he was injured. He always said a man hit him in the back with a big stick, but knowing Grandpa, that could have been a total fabrication of the truth. Maybe it happened; maybe it didn’t. That’s the thing with story tellers … we can make up things if we want to.
The truth is a sliding scale where the bubble sometimes leans to this side and sometimes to the other. It’s a bowl of jello … shaky at best. We build our stories so that they’re the most entertaining and unique they can be and well … if the truth gets lost in there somewhere, it was an honest mistake.
I love telling stories. Take me out for lunch sometime and ask me about that time I went on board the USS Comfort during hurricane Katrina for medical treatment. Ask me about that handsome guy from the Keys I met in Ai Bonito Puerto Rico. He was hot! But sadly turned out to be married.
I hope I can continue telling my stories right up to the moment I breathe my last breath. My grandpa did. The last time I saw him, he was laughing and telling us the story of that time he met an old boy at the Feed Store who only had one arm. The boy was working the saw mill and got a little too close to the big powerful blade. Back in Grandpa’s day and time, people barely went to the doctor even with big emergencies. They just went home and mama bandaged them up as best she could and they prayed there would be no infection.
Things like common infections, colds and the flu could kill you in the 1930’s. Penicillin wasn’t discovered till 1928 and it wasn’t widely used for another 10 years. People were rightly suspicious of new drugs, inventions, and medications. Most often, they would make a poultice of flaxseed, apply it to the wound and pray for the best.
Back in those days, people had no choice except to believe in God. There were just too many ways a person could die before the age of 40. Even a simple thing like childbirth could kill a healthy woman.
Another important thing I recall about my grandpa is that he was a very honest man. He loved to tell the story of how Abe Lincoln walked a mile one time to give a lady back a penny that she had overpaid. A man’s reputation was the most important thing he had. If grandpa had lived to see all the famous, wealthy, unprincipled lawyers, politicians and businessmen of our day, he would be devastated. He would not be able to understand how people could be so corrupt, evil and dishonest.
Sometimes I sense his spirit hanging around this plane of existence and I can see the worry lines on his forehead. He’s not sure our civilization can last much longer. I’m not either.
I know things weren’t perfect back in “those” days. I know there was still a lot wrong with mankind and the world. But we seem to be going in the wrong direction. We’re not getting better at all. We’re getting more affluent, but the Bible is right where it says that, if God didn’t shorten the time during the end, NO FLESH could be saved.
I’ve seen too much evil in my lifetime and not just from gangsters and drug dealers. They’re not the ones we should be worried about. Seems like Jesus knew this all along. He often hung out with the tax collectors and prostitutes. He preferred their company over that of the upstanding religious leaders of his day.
The real enemy of our world is the wealthy man who owns everything and still wants more, even if it costs lives and damages the planet. He’s so set on owning everything, that he’s blinded to common sense. His lust knows no bounds. His greed is a driving force. Those are our real enemies.
One day I’ll join my grandpa in Eternity. I’ve always looked forward to it. Death never scared me at all, but Life scares the hell out of me. That’s because I know that I can’t control the rich white men who own our country. I can only hope to survive them.
My grandpa collected things and sometimes they were odd things like string. I remember sitting on the front porch of their old white frame house in East Texas watching Grampy walk around the yard. The mosquitoes were huge, the sun would melt a stick of butter in a minute’s time, but we always had fresh watermelons and tomatoes, grown in the field just east of the house.
He would mosey along, then spy a bit of string or an oddly shaped stick on the ground and pick it up. When he died, he left me his ball of string and I still have it to this day. Who knows when you’ll need string!
I wish we had good honest men like grandpa running our country and our corporations but we don’t. It’s up to each one of us “citizens” though, to hold the leaders accountable. If we allow them to do it, they will lie and call it the truth. If we let them, they’ll drill for oil in the Garden of Eden and eventually destroy it. If we aren’t watching carefully, they’ll dump tons of chemicals and poisons in our precious oceans.
All these things and a lot more have happened already, but we still have time to stand up to the rich, greedy men who own our world. The people … ordinary citizens … have much more power than they realize. We could band together and turn this whole thing around – if only we would. One person CAN make a difference!