Wednesday, September 15, 2010

PFC Elmer Matthias

Yesterday my grandpa was able to go on an Honor Flight. My mom had been working her little butt for the last year to get my grandpa on one of these and it finally came to fruition.

His flight left super early in the morning (6am, ouch!) but was to get in at 10pm. So after teaching my last class, my sister and I drove to Cedar Rapids to welcome the vets back. It was a cool experience being there, not sure how to fully do it justice. There were well over 200 people there, some with ties to the vets coming home, others who just come to the airport to thank random vets. It was a very interesting dynamic to say the least.

My grandpa is a man of no very few words. He's not the kind of guy that patted the seat next to him and said, "Tesi, let me tell you about my time in WWII." That didn't happen. But he's still partially to blame the reason I turned out the way I have.

He is literally the hardest working person I know. At 87 years old he still helps my uncle out on his farm, and whenever he visits my parents he is taking long walks or pulling weeds in their garden. I like to think I get some of that get-up-and-go spirit from him.

I also like to think he gave me a bit of my sense of humor. He raised 5 kids who all turned out to be some of the funniest people I know so it's not hard to see they would've had to have a pretty good, hilarious role model in him.

He and my grandma taught me that marriage isn't all about laughter, love and googly eyes. There might be some yelling, some eye rolling and some self imposed time outs that need to happen to get through 62 years with the same person and still kiss like a couple of newlyweds.

But really, the two of them taught me to just live life. Don't let it pass you by, just jump in and enjoy it to the fullest. Cedar Rapids is over an hour from where we live. Kara and I were exhausted from our day but we knew we wanted to be there for our grandparents, because they were always doing that kind of stuff for us. I really can't explain to you how much I love them and how happy I am that I've been able to get to know them as an adult.

On to more pictures...after dinner we headed to the airport to wait for the patriarch. Grandma with Kara, my sister.

My 1st cousin once removed (also known as my cousin's little boy) Carter. Those eyes!
My other 1st cousin once removed, Max.
The gang who came to support my grandpa.
Kara, grandpa and hotflawedmama (please excuse the sweat and pre-pubescent acne on my part).
My mom, grandpa and uncle Neil (mom's brother).
 But this man, this man deserved to be celebrated and honored with such a crowd. He's good people this one, and I'm sure happy to share the same family tree with him.


Jamey... said...

That's so cool that he was able to do that. We live in the DC area and my husband (currently in the military) sometimes goes and meets those flights as they come in. He took our 3 year old one time as well. He said it was very neat to see.

Tkladynred said...

such a wonderful tribute to your grandpa Tesi. I'm sure he feels the very same way (in the opposite direction of course) about YOU. I love you!

Beth said...

How beautiful. The whole thing. What a special time together. And your grandfather looks absolutely precious.

Jake and Emily said...

Awesome! I love the Honor Flight program - it's a great way to give back to those who gave so much!

autumn's dizzy thoughts said...

How amazing! My grandfather was on an honor flight the spring of this year sponsored by Kroger. We were overjoyed for him. He was in the Navy during WWII and Korea...they had them in the Senate chamber and honored them with a standing moment of silence...such and amazing experience