|Grampy's squadron's patch|
|Grampy's in the first row - 4th from left|
|My family at Grampy's memorial "party"|
|Peter gets a history lesson from a WWII fighter pilot|
Grampy's bravery empowered me to do great things. It was as if his experience in WWII had seeped into his genes and had been given to me as a rich inheritance. I soloed a plane before I soloed a car, backed by my confidence in my last name. I could look any man in the eye without flinching, because I knew the meaning of my name. I think this is the fount Paul is tapping into with the Romans. If my temporary earthly lineage affected me so, how much more should my life be different if I'm the adopted son of the Creator?
|With the Memphis Belle|
Lately I've been welling up with bitterness. There are some situations in both my life and the lives of my close brothers and sisters which have not played out well to say the least, and it's caused my cynicism to reach Louis CK levels. I know people don't enjoy the company of bitter people, so I've managed to internalize most of it, but it's still devouring my joy. In the midst of this, my friend Mark gave me a call. A historical foundation was flying a legit B-17 bomber from WWII into a local airfield, and he asked if I wanted to go check it out with him. I jumped at the chance to witness a remarkable piece of history. As we admired the Flying Fortress and listened to the stories of veterans from the greatest generation, Mark handed me an unexpected and extravagant gift: a pink wrist band. I would get to fly in the B-17.
While it wasn't a Lancaster, I still couldn't help but vividly imagine Grampy's 51st mission as the bomber known as the Memphis Belle took off. The flight was a mere few days after the 7th anniversary of my grandfather's death, and my brain was filled with memories. As I reflected on the legacy he left for me, I found little room left for bitterness in my heart. Perhaps there are sacrifices so great they trump temporary suffering. Perhaps there is an unconditional love so bountiful it outlasts the trials of today. I think Paul would agree. After all, he closes out Romans 8 by exclaiming: "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus."
I'm thankful for my ilk, both earthly and eternal, and I shall live accordingly.
What I'm Listening to During This Post:
*While I heard Grampy's stories many times, I could not remember the exact dates and number of parachutes. For those details, I referenced to an excellent article written about my grandfather by Dr. Bill Wallisch titled "In the Belly of the Whale." You can read the article here: http://wlajournal.com/12_2/Wallisch.pdf (he even gives me a shout out).