Today would have been my Papa's 88th birthday. He passed away December 4th, 2004 after a long struggle with different illnesses. In actually, he was my step-grandfather, but he was the only one I ever really "knew". When I was younger, we were very close and as I grew older I became close to my grandmother.
In 1986, my grandfather had a quadruple bypass and had his heart valve replace with a pig valve. I think he suffered a few more minor heart attacks and a few minor strokes before he passed.
It was around Thanksgiving time when his illness really took a turn for the worse. He became bedridden and lost consciousness not soon after. At this time Jaiden was a newborn baby. On November 28th, we regained consciousness and was fully alert. He was able to sit up and hold Jaiden. Luckily, I had my camera with me and took a picture of him holding her. It is the only picture I have of Jaiden with him. After that day, he went into a coma and died a few days later.
When he began slipping, he asked for me to write his obituary because he knew of my passion with genealogy and history. This is what I found in my file:
James was born February 9, 1921 in Hamilton, Ohio. He served during WWII as PFC Field Artillery from 1942-1945. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, Arno Rome, and two other battles he could not recall. He also received the Silvery Star while in the army. He was stationed in Durham, NC and during the war fought in Germany, North Africa, Czechoslovakia, and Italy. He worked as a milkman for several years then worked as a butcher in his brother's supermarket.
This is papa and me in the very early 1980's. Check out those pants!!
The only picture of Papa and Jaiden
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