06-18 Sarah Raplee – WHY PSYCHIC AGENTS?

Friday, August 2, 2013

My Hero

By Judith Ashley
This month the Genre-istas are talking about favorite heroes and heroines. Who’s mine? 
Judith Ashley
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


Paty Jager said...

Judith, I agree, everyone needs a real life hero. Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful model for future heroes in your books. As I wrote before, my mom was was/is my hero. It's amazing how certain people can make us feel special and loved. That's a hero/heroine qualities to me. Nice post and a wonderful tribute to your grandfather.

Shobhan Bantwal said...

What a lovely tribute to your grandfather! Having lost my maternal grandfather before I was born and spending very little time with my paternal grandpa, I'm always touched by those men who are such fine and shining examples of grandparents. Thanks for sharing your special moments with him.

Sarah Raplee said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories, Judith. I'm sure your granddaughters have similar memories of you, even though they have been lucky enough to grow into young women under your care.

My mother and father are my heroes. They've always been there for me and made time for me.

Judith Ashley said...

What I find so compelling about his life is that he never failed me. My grandmother was a strong role-model for me but she lived long enough for me to see her as having flaws or faults. While family members could tell me about my grandfather's flaws, I never saw them.

My granddaughters know only too well that I have many many foibles and flaws...and they love me in spite of them...and for that I'm grateful.

Diana Mcc. said...

Judith you've made a lasting impression on your granddaughter. Maybe not now, in her teen years, but as a grown up she'll realize what a great role model you've been and are. I have many role models. In my writing life I admire Marie Harte who is such a dedicated writer. She sticks to her writing, meets her deadlines and can bang out 5,000 words a day. She is published by Ellora's Cave, Loose I.D. and several others and has books due each month of the year. I've only read one book by Marie Harte, but she is a friend who I really admire.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Judith,
A wonderful tribute to your grandfather. He certainly is hero material.



Judith Ashley said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by. I didn't respond again because I was visiting my aunt (his daughter) and interviewing her about the family. I hadn't remembered that my grandfather died the day after my 9th birthday until going over the Rawson Family genealogy chart.

And after talking to my aunt, he is even more of a hero to me and my grandmother and my aunt are heroines!