Saturday, August 16, 2008

Grandpa Clem..

Happy Birthday, Grandpa Clem. You are missed. It is always a vacant feeling we have when birthday's come around of loved ones who are feels strange not to buy them a card or give them a call...

It's funny, as when I think about my Grandpa I realize that I don't know much about him. I knew him for 37 years...but still don't know much. He was the quietest man I have ever met. What I do know is that he was in the Navy, in the war, was a tug boat captain for 45+ years, was a husband, father, grandfather, and had a quiet peace about him always.
During our visits, we would sit in the living room - my grandfather in his chair, wearing his signature cardigan sweaters, drinking his coffee, puffing on his pipe, and listening to the shipping radio....then silently he would put on his shoes and coat and just leave...driving down to the water, getting on his tug to bring the big ships safely into the harbor.
Sometimes, my brother and I would get lucky enough to go with him and help pilot the boat. I must admit that was usually the best part of our Summer vacations. Just silently cruising the harbor with our Grandpa. And when I got a job on a harbor boat the Summer's during college, we shared a silent connection.
My Grandpa was also a boat builder - he would get old ship light bulbs and build beautiful ships inside. His basement walls are lined with them. This is the last present my Grandpa gave to me before he died. I can look at it and feel his silent presence daily.

My Grandpa's most silent gift though, was his greatest to me. You see, this man did something many men probably didn't do in the early 50's(or even today), he fell in love and married a Divorcee with 2 young boys...provided for them, loved them, was a father to them, and adopted them and gave them his name..thus giving me mine.

Happy Birthday are silently missed by me every day.
xoxo, t


Kristi Pohl said...

Tracy, that is so beautiful!

The pictures of you are adorable-your grandpa would be proud to read this loving tribute today.

ginny said...

Very sweet. The story and pictures are wonderful. He was probably the most private person I ever knew. Happy Birthday Clem!

Andrea said...

aww-that post made me teary!

My Grandpa is the same way -strong, kind and silent. I think I will give him a call today.

Peggy Marino said...

Great pictures - I have never seen these. The boat in the bulb is very cute. What a great gift he gave you.

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