By Judith Ashley
This month the Genre-istas are talking about favorite heroes and heroines. Who’s mine?
His name is Ralph Harvey Rawson and he was my grandfather. I was born about two weeks before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. When my dad was drafted, my mom and I moved in with my maternal grandparents.
There is a family treasure trove of black and white pictures of me with my mini-rake and mini-shovel helping my grandfather in the vegetable garden, picking gooseberries with him, and sitting on his lap obviously telling him important news.And not just the pictures. There is a plethora of family stories. One my mom told, much to my dad's chagrin was how hurt my dad was when I would not let him even try to fix a doll I had whose arm had detached. Whenever any of my toys needed fixing, I insisted that ‘grandpa do it’.
He always included me – moving his Solitaire cards to the side of the small table he used so I had room to play next to him with my deck of cards. Letting me sit next to him at the breakfast table on the dictionary instead of in the highchair.
My memories of my grandfather are special ones. Everything I took to him, he fixed, every confidence I told him in secret, he kept. I knew I was special to him because he included me instead of pushing me away. He made time for his demanding little granddaughter.
I only remember him failing me once. He died the month I turned nine.I’ve often wondered what it would be like to be a heroine to someone else, to leave this life before they saw my foibles and failures, to have them look back on my part of their life and see me in the same way I still see my grandfather. One of those 'what if' moments in life that most likely will never happen.
Everyone needs a hero or heroine in their life. My wish for each of you is that you have or have had your own Ralph Harvey Rawson. My life and my memories are richer because of him.
© 2013 Judith Ashley