Monday, July 1, 2013

Remembering Sir Rafa

Today is the anniversary of my maternal grandfather's birth. He was an American hero, a family man, a storyteller. He would've been 99 years old today. His name was Rafael, and everyone called him "Ralph," (the grandchildren calling him "Ompa" - a version of the word Opa, meaning grandfather). But I always called him "Sir Rafa" (from a "fairy tale" I'd written about my family long ago).

I remember him at unexpected times - when I smell or taste spearmint (he always had spearmint gum), when I see a sunrise (he was always the earliest of risers), when I drink coffee (remembering that unlike mine, which I drink with hazelnut cream and a Splenda, he took his black, no sugar, because he said he was "sweet enough already"), when I get sucked into a good book or movie (he told the best stories). He almost always passed along nuggets of wisdom through telling us anecdotes.

He had the most contagious laugh. Today, that's what I miss the most.

 His "official" portrait when he was a Sergeant (E-5) in the US Army. 

 He and my grandmother posed with Andrew and me at our wedding in 2002. 

 He and my mom smile for the camera at the wedding reception. 

He's met baby Livie for the first time in June 2006; this was the day we arrived in El Paso.

This song's for you, Sir Rafa: 

1 comment:

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Sounds like you have many happy memories of him!

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