#1675 – “Johnny Bower Lost A Fan”

This is kind of mixed up
But hopefully it will make some sense

My Mom’s Dad
My Grandpa
Served in two wars
The Navy in World War 2 and
The Army in Korea
He always had stories to tell
I only remember one being sad
In World War 2 he served
On the H.M.C.S. Sackville
The last Corvette in the Canadian Navy

He told me this story
Of a friend of his
Serving on the same boat as him
Who was responsible
For firing bombs called “hedge hogs” Into the water
Whenever they exploded
It meant two things
The first
Was that a German U-Boat was hit
And that the U-Boat was now sinking
To the bottom of the ocean
The second
Was that my Grandpa’s friend
Would start vomiting into the water
Because he thought that that was
The worst way to die
Sitting at the bottom of the ocean
Waiting for the oxygen to run out
Overall Grandpa rarely talked about the wars
I didn’t press him either
My Mom told me once
Grandpa punched a Captain in the nose
And lost his stripes over it
That sounded about right
Grandpa was pretty stubborn

Sometime after the wars
Grandpa met Leaf great Johnny Bower
Grandpa was a big Leafs fan
And to meet a star
Was a highlight to him
Grandpa had a supportive wife
And they were like two peas in a pod

Grandpa and Grandma had
Two lovely daughters and
Several Grandchildren and
Great Grandchildren
In his later years
Grandpa made these quirky birdhouses
For the family
He quit smoking when I was born
And years later he quit drinking
In August of 2008 doctors found
A cancerous tumour in Grandpa’s throat
Then on September 14, 2008
Grandma passed away
And Grandpa’s stories stopped
At least it seemed that way to me
These last two events seemed to take the wind
Right out of Grandpa’s sails
I saw him in the hospital a few times
Getting radiation treatment and such
The stories had ended and
Most of the time he slept
On Friday April 10, 2009
Grandpa suffered a stroke
And four days later
On the evening of April 14, 2009
Fred Arthur Barnard passed away
Just two weeks shy
Of his 88th birthday

It is times like these that
I ignore my atheist side
And right now
I would like to think
That maybe
Just maybe somewhere
Grandma is having a drink and
Listening to Grandpa tell his stories
And although they miss us
And we miss them
Grandma and Grandpa
Are having a great old time

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