Friday, August 12, 2011

Grandpa's Remembrance Album

One of the greatest men in my life, my grandpa Bernie, passed away this week.  My grandfather was the most gentle, kind-hearted and loving man I knew.  He was always welcoming, smiling and happy.  He wore his heart on his sleeve and he was never afraid to let you see him cry. 
My grandfather was also the bravest man that I have ever known.  He was in the Army, fought in WWII and was wounded very severely.  He had many scars on his body from places where shrapnel had punctured it. Some shrapnel staying inside of his body for his entire life.   He was among those that fought in Normandy and was awarded the purple heart for his bravery.  But my grandpa would rarely talk about those days.  I think he did not really want to remember them.  Or, more correct, he did not want us to remember him by those stories.  What he wanted us to remember him by was another story.  The story of my grandmother and my grandfather:  Ruth and Bernie.  Henceforth, and for all of my life, just known as  "THE story".  For as soon as you would meet my grandfather he would ask you "Did you hear THE story?"  No, you say?  Well then let me tell it to you! 
My grandfather met my grandmother on a Sunday.  3 days later they got engaged.  30 days later they got married.  
Yes.  I got the story right.  Believe me I have heard it a million times and yet I NEVER got tired of hearing it!  For his face would light up everytime he told it.  My face would light up too everytime I heard it.  My grandparents fell in love and got engaged in 3 days and were married 30 days later!  Today one might think "that's crazy!" but, if you saw my grandparents, it is NOT so crazy after all.  For they were crazy about each other.  Even after almost 63 years of marriage they were still crazy about each other.  My grandfather worshiped my grandmother ("Ruthie!" he would call her) and my grandmother took care of my grandfather's every need.  What a marriage they had!  Everything my grandmother did, every meal she made, every day of her life, my grandfather was greatful for her and he told her so not only in words but in his actions too.  What a MAN!  She knew that she was "#1" in his book and he knew that he was "#1" in her's.  It was a real-life LOVE story.  One that I was blessed not only to hear but to be a PRODUCT of.  Because without THIS love story, my dad would not be here, my dad would not have met my mom, my parents would not have had their own love story and I would not be here.
I know that grandpa will not be able to tell THE story again here on Earth but I also know a LOT of people that can and WILL continue to tell THE story long after he is gone. 
I could not have asked for a better grandfather. I could not have asked for a better role model for my son.  I am so happy that Joshua got the chance to know and LOVE my grandpa ("Poppy" to Joshua) and although grandpa has left this Earth, I KNOW that he has really NOT left.  He has not left MY life.  I will not see him in the flesh anymore but his love, his legacy, and the traditions he instilled in me will always live on in my heart.  I love you Grandpa.  YOUR story will live on forever. 

left page and cover shown above:  My grandparents at their 60th Anniversary Party. How beautiful!
right page: My grandpa Bernie when he was young, very handsome and in the service.

left page:  My grandpa and me in his pool when I was about 2 years old
right small page: The Tapestry of Life. 

left small page:  My family posing with chocolate cigars.  The night I brought my son Joshua home from the hospital.  I love grandpa's face (grandma and grandpa are in the bottom right of the picture)
right page: My grandpa Bernie kissing grandma Ruth's hand. I loved to see him to do that!

left page:  My family at Rosh Hashana dinner (Joshua's first in 2008). One of the best meals and days of the year. 
right page: My grandparents on Father's Day this year.

left and right pages:  My grandparents in Florida.  They were so happy to spend the summers there. We were so happy to visit them too! (2005)

left page:  My grandparents on a "night out on the town" many years ago. 
right page: Poppy and Joshua (2008)

back page:  My grandparents at a friend's wedding years ago.  What a stunning couple!

"And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. 
It's the life in your years." 

-----Abraham Lincoln

My journaling reads: "Grandpa & Poppy, You will live on in our hearts forever! 2011 "

I miss you Grandpa. I love you.

To make this album I used all Close To My Heart materials of course!
Sonoma Level 2 Paper Packet
Sonoma Level 2 My Stickese
Purple Sparkles
Liquid Glass
Microtip Scissors
Acrylic Album
Organdy Ribbon

Please let me know if you are interested in making a memory album of your own. 


  1. Stephanie, my condolences to you and your family at this time. What a lovely tribute album you created. This is why we scrapbook to preserve those wonderful stories we hear. Thanks for sharing the story on your blog. It was very touching. Crystal

  2. Oh Steph...I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your grandfather (((hugs))) but I loved reading your post. Of course, by the time I got to the end, the tears were flowing! What a wonderful story and an amazing tribute to this incredible man. I'm sure your album will be treasured by your family forever! Thank you for sharing this with us...Love you! Jolene