By: Michelle Remold
Tomorrow is Memorial Day. It’s a day when we remember those who have served our country in the military. As my family was decorating my grandfather’s grave today, I can’t help but think about him as he had such a profound effect on me. My grandpa served in World War II. Although I was fairly young, I can still remember some of the stories he told me about serving in the army.
When I was in second grade, my teacher gave us an assignment to write about someone that was our hero. I chose my grandpa. I can remember drawing a picture of him in his army clothes and writing ever so carefully on the lined paper, “My Hero is my Grandpa .” At the time I wrote about how my grandpa was in World War II, told me stories about the war, and showed me things he had from the war. Most of all the last words I wrote were “he is very special to me.”
However, as my grandpa got older, he developed Alzheimer’s. Even then he was my hero. He lived with Alzheimer’s for a little more than ten years. As I watched the disease progress and think back, I realize that he was still my hero. Living with Alzheimer’s, he still managed to smile and laugh every time we visited him.
In my mind, I will forever be the little girl who was attached to my grandpa’s hip and holding his hand when he was around. As I write this, the song “Wind Beneath My Wings” is playing in my mind. Each time I hear this song, I realize that my grandpa will always be my hero and the number one person I look up to. As I continue on my journey of working in the Gerontology field, my grandpa will continue to be ‘the wind beneath my wings.’
Michelle graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology: Social Sciences and a minor in Family Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Aging Studies and Nursing Home Administration from Minnesota State University Mankato.