Grandpa is an Eagle

Excerpted from my mother’s blog (Memories and Moments by GrannyJo)¬†from September 11, 2006:

My dad passed away in ’65 at the young age of 58. I still miss him very much today, we were very close and much alike. I also was extremely close to my maternal grandfather. Grandpa Ralph used to take walks with me and tell me stories of his life in Italy, and I still remember his promise to buy me a ‘pony’. He didn’t live long enough to do that.

It’s getting pretty close now to Grandpa Ralph’s 120th birthday and my dad’s 99th. On this day of remembrance and mourning for all those who have gone to untimely deaths because of 9-11 and the resulting conflicts, I spent a lot of time thinking about how rough it is to lose loved ones, and also on how youngsters react to losing someone from their lives. I went back through some of the poetry I’ve written and found this poem from 1972–one of those thoughts that come in the night that you just have to get up and put down on paper. IMO, they come from the memories of the reactions of childhood to losses that we cannot understand. Thought I’d share it here with you today:

GRANDPA IS AN EAGLE
Grandpa is an Eagle,
Last night I saw him fly
Up, from the grass on his own front yard–
Going fast and soaring high.

Grandpa is an Eagle,
So, loved ones, don’t you cry.
Grandpa is an Eagle;
But, first he had to die.

I was six years old and the air was cold,
Early in the month of May.
“You won’t be going to school,” I was told,
“Because Grandpa died today.”

They laid him out in his Sunday best,
The neighbors all came around;
And I watched and wept with all the rest,
As they put him in the ground.

So many nights I dreamt him,
And the way it used to be;
Guess my Grandpa wanted to spend
A little more time with me.

In my dream one night, he hugged me tight,
Next, I only saw a bird,
Flapping its wings before it took flight;
And this is what I heard–

TELL THEM!

Grandpa is an Eagle,
Last night I saw him fly
Up, from the grass on his own front yard–
Going fast and soaring high.

Grandpa is an Eagle,
So, loved ones, don’t you cry.
Grandpa is an Eagle;
But, first he had to die.

That was forty long years or more ago,
Grandpa never came again–
But, there’s times when the month of May is cold
That my memory mourns for him.

Then, when I get to feeling sad,
Wondering why all death must be–
I hear again his happy voice,
Singing out to me….

TELL THEM!

Grandpa is an Eagle,
Last night I saw him fly
Up, from the grass on his own front yard–
Going fast and soaring high.

Grandpa is an Eagle,
So, loved ones, don’t you cry.
Grandpa is an Eagle………
But, first he had to die.
(copyright 1972)

Click Link to view Video:  Flying Eagle (from YouTube 2006)

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