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A steely cold look that shows the war torn years of a man that has seen things.  Things in this life that no human would ever wish to see.  A face that shows honor, determination, strength, and the lines of wisdom only a thousand year old oak could match.  He smells of black oil and metallic dust as only a man can that is used to fixing everything in his life with his own two hands.  His hands tremble slightly, but only when he isn't focused on a task.  This is due to the years that struggle to keep up with him instead of the other way around.  I look up at this tower of a man as he holds a child's toy, my toy, a toy marine.  Being so young the irony is lost on me, this man that has lived a life that this toy suggests.  With hands that used to command entire platoons he helps to fix the toy soldier.  Looking past his glasses he smiles at me as he snaps the pieces back together.  I'm in awe of this man, for the simple fact that he can "fix anything," build whatever he pleases, and here he is fixing my toy.  A couple seconds later his gruff voice coos to me as my action figure becomes whole once again.  Giving him a hug I say, "Thanks Grampa," and then I excitedly run back outside to play with my friends.  My Grandpa strolls over to the window to watch me play outside on the front lawn.  He smiles to himself.  He's not living for country anymore, hes not living to protect and serve hundreds of thousands, he's not jumping out of airplanes to stave off mother nature, he loves and protects to be with his family.  He lives a life now that is just as important in a little boys eyes, one that could never be replaced or done by another.  He's my Grandpa.
I don't write and post typically, never thought myself much of a "writer." Also, if you find this piece connected to a game, like Call of Duty, its because these are the men that inspire the games you play.



My Grandfather, Robert N. Cummings, passed away a couple of years ago. But he lived a life you only watch in movies. He lied about his age and became a Smoke Jumper when he was 17. Later on he joined the Army and fought in WWII and the Vietnam War. Many many years later he retired at the rank of Major. Retirement didn't suit him so he joined the Fire Department and became a Fire Chief. They don't make men like my Grandfather anymore. He was headstrong, probably hot headed at times, and I can see why Clint Eastwood was his favorite actor. I think if they ever would have gotten the chance to meet they probably would have been the best of friends. Oddly enough though he was always fascinated with technology and was equally impressed with what I did with my artwork in our "digital age." One of the reasons why I made sure to scan everything I had that my grandfather wore or packed with him during the Vietnam War for Call of Duty Black Ops. Art wise I wanted everything we did to be as authentic as possible. Its a thimble of a gesture for a giant of a man. I'm proud of my Grandpa, more than these words could ever express. To be honest I don't even know what brought this on. But I just wanted to share briefly about a man that lived more life times than most of us will ever live in our one.
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:iconashesinthewinds:
AshesInTheWinds Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2010
this is truly beautiful

i read the description first, so thinking about the man your grandfather was, and placing him as the figure a small child sees, it's quite hard to do

at times, i envy people like your grandfather, or like you, for living and loving great people like that, and receiving such love back from them
but i doubt i could have been a man as he was, do these things that the normal mind cannot think of, seeing sight that would make hell tremble in woe and horror

it is truly amazing, that people like that lived, people who gave their lives, with the few years they have walked this earth, all for the call of a place they called home, man who rise when the need arrives
these man are truly heroes, both in how they lived, and how they left this world behind

thank you, for sharing such a personal memory
it is truly an inspiration
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:iconimagineye:
IMAGINeye Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thank you so much for your kind words. I too have felt there is no way I could ever stand shoulder to shoulder with him. That aside I felt honored to have him in my life and I take pride in what he gave so that his family could live.
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:iconflabaflaba123:
flabaflaba123 Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2010   General Artist
Wow. That's really good. You're grandpa seems like a vary respectable man. If I had met him in person before he had passed away, I would have thanked him for his service, & for helping to protecting this country & everyone in it. I will never be able to express my gratefulness to all of the soldiers out there in words.

R.I.P Robert N. Cummings.

Bless every noble soldier that ever once was, is, & will be.
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:iconimagineye:
IMAGINeye Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2010  Professional General Artist
I couldn't have worded it better myself...thank you :manhug:
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:iconyzarc:
yzarc Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
deep stuff. well written & clearly from the heart.
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:iconimagineye:
IMAGINeye Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thanks my Irish Brother! :manhug:
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:iconnadiaeve:
NadiaEve Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2010  Student General Artist
i can only say one word about this...
wonderful
:sniff:
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:iconimagineye:
IMAGINeye Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thank you :hug:
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:iconnadiaeve:
NadiaEve Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2010  Student General Artist
:hug:
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:iconninjaluz:
Ninjaluz Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2010
This makes me remember how my grandfather was such an inspiration for me. It brings me so much comfort remembering his voice and how he used to call me his "princessesa" and how he just emanated love. Thank you <3
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:iconphoneix-faerie:
Phoneix-Faerie Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
A beautiful piece of writing, and your grandfather sounds amazing.
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:iconimagineye:
IMAGINeye Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thank you so very much...he was an amazing man.
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:iconphoneix-faerie:
Phoneix-Faerie Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
you're welcome, he sounds it
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:iconharu01:
Haru01 Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Professional Writer
beautiful!
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:iconimagineye:
IMAGINeye Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thanks Haru, I appreciate it.
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:iconharu01:
Haru01 Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Professional Writer
My pleasure!
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:iconakkiran:
Akkiran Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010   Writer
Well done you. When I read this I felt quite a lot of emotion, your grandpa must have been quite the man to inspire such words.
On a literary basis, this was well written and the emotions were well communicated. It wasn't overdone or over explained which meant it felt just right to read.
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:iconimagineye:
IMAGINeye Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thanks Akkiran, I don't know if its the lack of not being able to do artwork right now due to my computer being broken, but I just felt like this was something I wanted to write rather than paint (which is odd for me). So I greatly appreciate the kind words my friend.
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:iconakkiran:
Akkiran Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2010   Writer
I think I can kinda understand.
No problem ^^
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:iconsummermacpherson:
summermacpherson Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010
this made me want to cry :( I'm sure your Granpa was a good man, and i'm sorry he had to live a life like that.
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:iconimagineye:
IMAGINeye Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thank you...but I think the point is he wanted to live a life like that. He didn't lie about his age to become a smoke jumper because he had no other choice, he did it because he wanted to help. Same when it came to the Army and working in the Fire Department. Knowing who my Grandfather was, I don't think he would have wanted to live any other way. :)
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:iconsummermacpherson:
summermacpherson Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010
:)
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:iconkopanitsak:
Kopanitsak Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Student Filmographer
That was wonderful! :aww:
And... Well, my friend, I'm sure your grandpa was also proud of you! :thanks:
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:iconimagineye:
IMAGINeye Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Professional General Artist
:hug:
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:iconkopanitsak:
Kopanitsak Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Student Filmographer
:aww:
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:iconathas:
athas Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2010  Professional Artist
"Its a thimble of a gesture for a giant of a man."
-- That's a really great line. If your grandfather could read this, how pleased he would be to have left such an impression on you.
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:iconimagineye:
IMAGINeye Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thanks...I greatly appreciate it Athas. Growing up he was the father I didn't have. And although the spankings he gave hurt like hell, how he lived his life spoke volumes to how I should live mine.
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:icondmajorboss:
DMajorBoss Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2010  Professional Writer
Your words here are powerful in their presentation, giving that natural feeling that we have for those we love so dearly. I would say that this is more of a speech, something you say to show honor and appreciation for someone; I can tell that you have that honor and appreciation.

Even if you think it's just a thimble of a gesture, it means so much more to you and yours in getting it out there. This is one of those cases in which a mole hill can really have the impact of a mountain.

Thank you, so very much, for gracing us with this powerful piece, my friend.
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:iconimagineye:
IMAGINeye Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Professional General Artist
Coming from you Boss that means a lot. :handshake: It's so funny the things that will inspire us or cause a memory long forgot to come back to us. For me, it was watching a Clint Eastwood movie (of all things), and all of a sudden I remembered this time when my Grandpa was helping me to fix one of my toys.
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:icondmajorboss:
DMajorBoss Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Professional Writer
Yeah...that's happened to me quite a few times too. It's often the little things, the spark, that can cause great nostalgic explosions within our minds.

I'm glad that you got it out, and I'm happy to have read.

^_^
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