My grandfather, Gordon Dempsey, turned 90 on Thursday, July 11th. Our whole family got together in Richardson, TX to celebrate with him, my grandmother, and their friends. I hadn’t seen them in 3 years, and haven’t been to Texas in over 6.
I never was a very big family person growing up. It was something my parents tried to instill in me for years, but honestly, it never had the same impact or weight for me as it has started to the past few years. These few days I spent with my grandparents and their Dempsey clan they’ve created meant a lot more than I expected.
My grandparents are old, but luckily very mentally and physically able still, so I was able to talk with them most of the time we were together. I loved hearing stories about how my grandfather and his buddies got bored in Japan during WW2, so they blew up an abandoned Japanese tank, and my grandmother and her travels to Lima as a flight attendant in 1950, and the couples’ more recent vacations around the world that they have enjoyed in their later years. It’s a view of the world, and description of a time, that I rarely am fortunate enough to experience. As someone who is admittedly guilty of Golden Age Thinking, I hang on every word while replaying their stories in my head.
Eventually there will come a time where I’ll have to say goodbye to my grandparents, but whenever that time is, I’ll be lucky enough to have these stories, photos, and memories to always keep them around.
Happy Birthday Grandpa.