Happy 100!

Today’s the big day: Grandpa would have turned 100 years old this morning.

Oddly enough, after writing some 40,000 words about my grandpa thus far for this blog, I’m not sure what to say about it. I’m sad that he did not live to see it, but I’m also happy and grateful that he had so many good years on this planet and that he lived long enough to meet his great-granddaughter. I’m thankful for all the time I got to spend with him, for him trusting me to tell his incredible story, and for all of you who have taken an interest in it. I’m relieved that he is no longer in pain, and that he is somewhere out there with Rose.

I guess that’s the thing about birthdays for people who are no longer with us. They are no longer about helping someone celebrate their life, or about being special for one day in a world that most often does not acknowledge that you are the star of your own show. Instead they are about celebrating that person’s memory and the hole their departure leaves in one’s life. Perhaps that makes them more meaningful, since their birthdays now have outsized importance to the people who loved them. And while our departed loved ones are no longer here to blow out the candles, that does not mean the rest of us cannot eat cake.

Anyway, what did grandpa mean to you? For those who knew him, do you have any stories you’d like to share? For those who did not, is there anything about his experiences thus far illustrated in the blog that resonate in particular with you? Please leave a comment below!

And since I’m offering little else of substance today, here is a list of other things that turned 100 this year, including the Nineteenth Amendment, the NFL, and Rubbermaid.

It seems like just yesterday, doesn’t it?

Elmer Luckett playing with his two grandsons sometime in the early 80s.

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