Veteran’s Day. I’m reminded of family and my dear friend Slim who was always old from my then young eyes.

Slim who drove a cat in the woods well into his 70’s and gave me packaged cookies and coffee after school in a special mug with my name on it…even after he said the cookies were giving me a double chin.

Slim who “chaperoned” me to out of town sports games. God forgive me … and thank you for putting such a special man in my path, even if only for a little while.

Slim who sat quietly while we, the women, drank coffee and worked the daily jumble.

Slim who ate the open faced peanut butter sandwiches I made for him at lunch, smothered with real maple syrup just the way he liked it.

Slim who gave me beer when I was old enough and gave me away when I married my high school sweetheart in a beautiful dress with pearls and lace that my mother made for me.

Slim who sat for hours in the yard pulling weeds out of the grass after they took his drivers license away. Maybe he was remembering his experience of storming Normandy that he shared with me once. Or stories of blowing up bridges as part of his role in an elite special services group that only accepted disposable men–men who had no family; stories he never shared with me; stories I’ll never know.

Slim who unknowingly gave me sorrow when he didn’t know who I was the last time I saw him.

Slim who wasn’t family, but was my grandpa. I salute you, your soul, wherever you may be.

Love you.

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