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Strength of Memories

Posted on 2011.06.24 at 00:08
Current Music: Kindred Spirit ~Deuter
Tags: ,
I don't often think about my grandfather specifically anymore, but I did tonight. I saw something about Pearl Harbor and I wondered what it was like for my grandfather to fight in WWII. Which is odd because I did a paper on it my junior year of high school. It was one of the only times I'd seen him cry, talking about the experiences he had as a teenager.

Considering my affiliation with Buddhism and Asian cultures I wonder how he would feel about that. I wonder what he would think of so many of my friends being Asian and the fact that I studied Japanese; would like to live in Japan one day. I believe my grandfather would want me to be happy, but I still wonder what he would feel specifically anyway. Technically it wouldn't change anything so it shouldn't matter, but for me the understanding--the little details that don't alter the situation--are what matters most it seems.

People take this for granted a lot I think, and I think it is one reason I am drawn to certain people so much and not others. Even as a student working, I always took the time to listen to someone's story. To me, that is how a person truly displayed who s/he is. Of course our actions and lack of actions do as well, but there are many great people who do unnoticed great things. You only see this if you listen to their stories though.

I think some people just see it as memories and opening up to others, but it's memories that make us who we are just as much as what we do...because often it is the memories and our reflection and feelings about them that bring our actions into being or not. I can't ask my grandfather now, and that makes me sad. All my mother really has of his is the flag from his funeral--my uncle sold a lot of it and my aunt got the other stuff as my grandmother isn't totally with it and overlooked my mother considerably. However, I have a handful of memories I cherish that none of the other grandchildren have because I asked him and I listened.

When I was born my family said my grandfather changed. I don't know as I didn't know him before that, but they said for some reason he became more open and warm I guess you would say. It's weird for me to talk about it because 1. it feels like I'm bragging or something and 2. I really don't understand what they mean enough to make sense of it anyway. One of the memories I have is when I was in my late teens and he came up from the basement with his old uniform and put the jacket on me. He never talked about the war or anything except the one time I interviewed him to write a paper for school. I remember thinking of how heavy it was...in retrospect, how heavy the burden of what he was witness to must have been.

I miss my grandfather.

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