My grandfather was a medic during World War II and spent his time pulling wounded men off the battlefield in the Philippines. He never talked much about the war, just a few stories here and there. One day while driving him to Home Depot he said, somewhat out of the blue, “Grandma gets mad at me because nothing really gets to me. But I suppose it’s because of everything I saw in the war.”
After the war was over he considered going to medical school to become a doctor. But since this would leave his wife having to work 10 more years in the mill, he settled for the quiet career of a furniture salesman until he retired. He spent the rest of his life growing vegetables and helping deliver flowers for his son’s florist, always chewing a cigar and letting me tag along wherever he went.
Someone once remarked how my life would have been different had he become a doctor. Possibly, but I wouldn’t take anything for those days of following the former Staff Sergeant, who put his big dreams on hold for the sake of his family, around in the garden.