By J Ann Crowder

During my childhood, stories were often told about my grandfather
He was young when he went to war, flying fighter planes
Many missions he flew, dropping bombs, maneuvering a massive metal machine while missiles went flying like fire thundering in a storm—sullen skies floaded with heaving, clamorous tumults of war
A miracle he survived—Distinguished Flying Cross, resounding in truth
Hero sung and honored—exemplified and glorified
Yet, untold stories remained locked in soul
Nightmares and terror, presuming to haunt many dreams, ensnared night’s slumber
Sleep was lonely in dreams still living in battlefields of sky
By and by, a mission’s deep horror echos through bones and reverberating memories
No talk of war stories uttered, only a quick snap shot—a glance of a bygone time and scattered photos
Betimes, a stutter happened, followed by tears burning hot as fevered skin
Protrusions of sweltering sweat formed as anxious, trembling hands feared depth of scattered photos pushed far back—as far back as memories could go
He does not want to remember
It’s fine, because we don’t need to know details—we are proud not knowing
We are proud of his sacrifice, even if we cannot fully comprehend with what magnitude his heart prolonged near a lifeless hope
(Ironically, soon after flying missions in two wars, my grandfather passed away in a car accident. I know him only through stories and pictures.)
Stories introduced me to my heroic, kind, funny, and talented grandfather I never knew
In memory of T. Earl Jr.

Remembering the grandfather I never knew. Written January 24th, 2017.

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Robert L. Martin
about 4 years

War sure does take its toll. Many soldiers have an awful time adjusting to life after it's over. I guess they are just trying to block it out their minds. Even heroic deeds want to be forgotten.

Nelson D Reyes
about 4 years

Brave young man your Grandfather was! And you're right some stories of valor or ordinary episodes could remain locked in one's soul. He was a War Hero and he deserved the awards due him.
Sad about the car accident. Verse novel sounds interesting.
Thank you Jenifer. ❤️ this.

Charlotte B. Williams
about 4 years

Such a beautiful, and kind of sad story Jenifer. Your grandfather sounds like a great hero. It's good you have the stories of his heroic life to embrace. I never knew any of my grandparents on either side. My mother bore me late in life, l guess that's one reason. I have an old picture of my dads parents, and once I saw a picture of my mothers, mother. They're all gone now my parents too. God rest their souls.

J Ann Crowder
J Ann Crowder
about 4 years

It was hard not knowing him in life after hearing what an amazing spiritual giant and zealous, resilient person he was. I admire men who have made the same sacrifices for their country. It's certainly not easy. Thank you for your kind words. I wish you could have known your grandparents. I guess, for some of us, that will come in the afterlife.

J Ann Crowder
about 4 years

I just changed it. I know very little about military stuff or awards, I just know my grandfather was given several. I double checked with my dad, and I put a picture of the highest award he received. I wrote this poem in the form of verse novel writing. I have never tried this before, but am thinking of writing a verse novel to tell the story of my grandfather. It would be a fun and interesting endeavor.

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