Memorial Day: Honoring Gramps

Lazies, I spent part of this Memorial Day weekend honoring my grandfather’s memory. Born in 1900, my grandfather Frank served in the military long, long ago. Gramps, as I called him, passed on Veterans’ Day in 1991, just weeks before his 91st birthday. I kept a plant from his services and I call it ‘Gramps’. He sits next to my spot in the family room and I talk to him often. Here’s Gramps after grooming this weekend.


If you are doing the math, this plant has been with me for 23 years. That includes 6 moves in 3 cities in 2 states, several replantings and lots of grooming. With the beautiful weather we are having here in Ohio, I finally got Gramps outside for a clean-up. It seems every spring a number of leaves die and they are messy to prune in the house.

Here’s how Gramps looked when I got him outside. Plenty of brown stuff, a few renegade vines and a whole lot of hearty growth. I cleaned him up, scrubbed down the pot, tucked in the vines, and gave him a hearty watering.


Gramps loved gardening and being outdoors. He kept an organic veggie garden for years. His place is next to a window so he can look out on the pretty yard and enjoy the sunshine.


This is mostly how I think of Gramps. We always put bows on his head at any birthday celebration. He was a good sport as most grandpas are.

Gramps was instrumental in his field; ran for Cincinnati City Council; helped employees, neighbors, friends and strangers; and lived a life to be proud of. I’m grateful he was my grandpa and I miss him.

A beautiful garden, a successful veggie plant or amazing flower remind me of gramps – such as this beautiful clematis that’s in bloom in my back yard right now. I know he’d like this.


Gramps loved poetry, carried small red books of poetry when he served in the military and he read to me often. My favorite is the ‘Fate of the Flimflam’ by Eugene Field. You can read it here. It’s rather Dr. Suess-like and I often try to visualize how Dr. Suess would have illustrated this poem.

Here’s to you, Gramps, and all who serve this country.


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6 Responses to “Memorial Day: Honoring Gramps”

  1. Sue — May 27, 2014 @ 3:48 pm

    You can honor all your veteran deceased relatives too at and give them a flag — I did this for my father who was in WWII.

  2. Tammy — May 27, 2014 @ 3:49 pm

    What a precious way to remember your “Gramps”…I can feel the love from here! God bless Frank for his service to our nation and for helping to keep us free and safe. Many blessings to you, Joan..

  3. Glenda in Florida — May 27, 2014 @ 4:47 pm

    What a loving tribute to your grandfather. I’m don’t think I’ve ever kept a plant alive for more than a year, but fortunately I carry memories in my heart, instead of my brown thumb!

  4. debbi Blair — May 27, 2014 @ 4:53 pm

    Thanks for sharing your heart felt story…You are not alone with having a “memory plant”. I have one from my Dad’s services. (WWII & Korean War’s pilot) Mine has been with me for over 13 years now. I planted a boxwood by my front porch in memory of my Mom. I have nurtured it for the last 3 years. They told me that it would not survive a Wyoming winter. It has now survived 3 of them. My hubby says it seems to be tough like my Mom. LOL She loved my hubby and the fact that he is a proud Marine (Vietnam era). She used to tease him that I was the toughest one for being a “Marine Wife”. I know both Mom and Dad are watching over things…

  5. Margie — May 28, 2014 @ 7:36 am

    Lovely story and wish I had also known your “Gramps” !! Thank you!

  6. Deanne — May 29, 2014 @ 11:53 am

    Loved your tribute to Gramps. The poem is the best! I love Dr. Seuss and always read his books to my son and can now read to my granddaughters, including this poem. Quilty hugs.