Once upon a time, there was a little girl who thought her Opa was the world… She would follow him around the house, helping him wire things, because he was an electrician. She would get her little popcorn popper toy, you know the one with the wheels and the clear dome with bright balls inside that would pop around as you pushed it, and she would follow right behind him as he mowed the lawn. He would scold her when she was naughty, and make her smile when she was sad.
As she grew, her love for him did as well. He was her protector! He even locked his keys in the truck one night, with it still running, to save her from danger. She was up at her neighbor’s house as the boy was mowing the lawn for his dad, the lawn mower wasn’t on, but Opa didn’t know that, and she was reaching under to see if there was a rock or something, Opa flew out of his truck hollering at her thinking she was putting her hand towards a running lawn mower. He didn’t see this as funny till later that week when she had cut her left pointer finger on a piece of glass in the light post by the steps, she pointed out that it was the harmless things that were trying to hurt her. He held her hand as Oma and her mom cleaned the cut to determine if she needed stitches or not. A few Steri-strips later and a roll of gauze they were sharing ice cream.
Time passed and the girl grew into a woman. She saw her Opa on almost every holiday. The day came when another man came into her life, and she knew he was the one who would be her forever love. He helped give her away one her wedding day. She was so lucky to have Opa on one side of her and her Step-father on the other side. A baby came, and he brought more joy to her Opa’s face. He had six grandchildren and one great-grandson, so much love.
One day he was diagnosed with cancer, pancreatic cancer. The girl’s heart broke… into a million pieces. On December 21, 2002 he celebrated his 74th birthday and that was the last time she heard his voice for on December 24th he closed his eyes forever. Later the girl had another child and named him Delvin after her Opa.
That is until recently…
My mom was cleaning a while ago and in an old record cabinet she found a Record-a-gram from Grandpa to Grandma while he was in the Army. He was in San Francisco and was getting ready to ship out to Korea. I took it over to my Father-in-laws house and he put it on a CD for me. The first time they played it I cried… I hadn’t heard that voice in so long and i had almost forgotten what it sounded like. The record was made on May 19th 1951,before they were even engaged, he talks about how he and a buddy had been taking pictures but he wouldn’t know if they were any good til Monday, and he would send her one if they were any good. He was going to ship out on that following Wednesday on the U.S.S. Hope and 3500 men were going. It was so amazing to hear him!!! That first day I think I listened to it over a dozen times, each time bringing me more happiness. I’ve only listened to it twice since bringing it home, once to make sure it worked on a real CD player and the other with head phones to see if I could make out what he was say better.
He starts with: “Hi Honey, well you said you wanted me to make you a record… so here I am… believe it or not. Don’t know what to talk about”
It’s his voice, younger, but still him. And he ended it with: “Well, my times about up Honey. About 10 seconds left. So, Love and Kisses, hope to see you soon.”