Monday, March 15, 2010
My Humble Hero
My cute little Grandpa Poole died a week ago today. His funeral was Saturday. I've been putting off this post because I did not know how to sum up his life and who he was into a few paragraphs.
Grandpa Poole was probably only 5'6 and I towered over him but I will always look up to him. He was the kindest, sweetest, most honest person I know. He had a remarkable life. During WWII, he was captured by the Japanese and was forced on the Bataan Death March, where he was starved and abused. He ended up as a prisoner of war for 3 1/2 years were he was mistreated and starved on a daily basis. At the end of the war when he was finally rescued, he weighed under 100 pounds.
The amazing thing was, he forgave his captors the day the war ended and has never looked back. He didn't want hate and anger to ruin his life. He rarely talked about his experiences until later in life when people became interested in his story. He has always been so positive and eventually sent his son on a Mormon mission to Japan.
I'm so proud of my Grandpa and I'm most proud of him for things that had nothing to do with his amazing war experiences. My sweet grandma died when I was one year old and he has been alone a long time. He kept himself busy working in his yard and helping his neighbors and widows that lived in his neighborhood. At 85 years old, he was out shoveling other people's walks and mowing lawns. He assigned himself to set up chairs at every church function and would stay to put them away afterwards. Every time I had a baby, he would find out I was in labor and get on his knees and pray for me.
Grandpa Poole was very skilled at making things with his hands. When I was a kid, he made a float every year for me and my siblings to ride on in the East Milcreek Fourth of July parade. He made everything from the Love Float to a political merry-go-round. A few years ago, he started making floats again for my kids to ride on in the same parade. The picture below is of Luke and Grandpa last year right before the parade. He knew it would be his last.
I will miss this humble, sweet man so much.