I'll miss you pawpaw

Discussion in 'Campfire' started by zane, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. zane

    zane Well-Known Member

    Hey guys

    It is with a heavy heart that I type this out. My grandpa passed away last night after a long fight with a myriad of health issues. I thought that I would share some things about him with yall because I know you would appreciate the man that he was.

    Grandpa was a WW2 veteran. After Pearl Harbor he tried to enlist in the Navy but they wouldn't take him because he was colorblind (something he passed on to me :doh:). They told him that the Army would take him so he went to the Army office and enlisted. After basic, they shipped him to Needles, Ca which is pretty much the hottest place in in the world I think. They were training for the war taking place in Africa. After they pretty much completed their many weeks of training in the desert during the hottest months of the year, they were reassigned and would now be going to Europe. I believe they were sent to Wisconsin or some other cold state to do their training for Europe.

    While still stateside, he says that there was an Lt that had a vendetta against him. He would say that this guy was always on his back and and trying to get him kicked out. Once while they were moving between training locations via train. My grandpa asked the engineer if he could ride in the engine with him. The train came to a stop in a little town (not their destination) and although they were under strict orders from their Lt not to leave the train, my grandpa's belly got the best of him. He hopped off the train and ran to a small cafe and grabbed a couple sandwiches. As he is paying, he hears the door open and in walks the Lt. He goes ballistic on grandpa telling him that he is going to report him AWOL and the whole 9 yards. When they reached their destination, my grandpa went and spoke to a higher up with which he was good friends. My grandpa ended up losing some rank but that was fine with him. He and this Lt had several brush ups. My grandpa finally had enough at some point and told the man that if they ever crossed paths during civilian life that he would beat him to death. The Lt never showed up to any of their reunions!:fit:

    He stormed the beach of Normandy and fought in the Battle of the Bulge and marched across Europe 2 or 3 times. He says that during the Battle of the Bulge his unit was completely cut off with Germans on all sides. He says that they had all come to terms that they were going to die trying to fight their way out and they were going to take as many Germans as possible with them. They ended up fighting their way out and escaped with few casualties. He said that this was the coldest winter that they had seen in Europe in decades. He said that it wasn't too uncommon to wake up to find one of his men frozen to death.

    I always longed to hear him speak of the war. He wouldn't get into any bad stories but would talk about it with me when I would bring it up. To me, he is a war hero and a hero to this country. He was part of the Greatest Generation- which is fading away more and more each day.

    While I was growing up, my grandpa was a larger than life man to me. He stood about 6'3 with broad shoulders and huge callused hands that were strong enough to crush every bone in my hand. I remember when I was a teenager, I saw a picture from a family event in which I was standing next to him. The picture showed that I was as tall as he was. What a proud day that was for me! I remember the first rabbit hunt he took me on. I couldn't have been more than 7yrs old. We stopped by Kmart in Jonesboro and he bought me a new Red Ryder BB gun. We went on to Lake City and stopped at an old diner and had the best greasy cheese burger I had ever had. We went on the the river and started walking the levy. He jumped a big ole swamper and I shot my Red Ryder and he his 12ga. The rabbit fell dead in the slough we were walking along. My grandpa jumped down into the knee deep water and grabbed that sucker and congratulated me on my first rabbit! He skinned it for me and instructed my mamma to cook that rabbit for me that night.

    The 12ga he used to kill that rabbit he later gave to me during my teenage years. He bought the gun in the mid 50's when my mom was just a girl. It is a Belgium Browning A5 and is probably my most prized possession in the entire world. He said my grandma was so mad at him for coming home with that gun because the money was supposed to be to buy my mom a new winter coat. Money was tight for them at the time. They were living in Walnut Ridge and he was going to school on his GI bill and working any odd job he could find. They didn't have any money but they never went hungry.

    He was a bird hunting machine and that A5 has taken thousands of quail in its lifetime.

    My grandpa was a Godfearing man. He served as a Deacon or Elder in his church for probably my entire life. He was always the one I turned to when I had questions pertaining religious matters. I was baptized when I was 18 and I remember the tears of joy streaming down his face and how proud he was of me.

    He and my grandma had a truly inspirational love. My brother in law's sister is a nurse at the dialysis clinic that my grandpa went to 3x's a week. During the last several months my grandpa was unable to drive himself so grandma would take him. His sister says that all of the nurses just loved watching my grandparents. She says that they would always be holding hands and that when grandma would leave they would kiss each other on the lips and always call each other baby. I know his death is so hard on grandma.

    He had been down the last few years with several health issues. He had a pacemaker/defibrillator put in several years ago. He had CHF and renal failure and was on dialysis 3x's a week the last few years of his life. He had back issues after falling a few years ago and fracturing several vertebra.

    He was admitted to the hospital earlier in the week for pneumonia. Each breath became a struggle and he was disoriented but after a round of antibiotics things were looking up. His breathing became better and he was lucid and talking. Things took a downturn yesterday as he again started having breathing issues and became disoriented.

    At one point, my poor grandma went over to his bedside kissed him on the head and told him that she new he was tired of fighting and physically exhausted and that he didn't have to stay here for her anymore and that he could go home if he wanted. Last night at around 11pm he did go home and the world lost on of the most amazing men.

    I haven't seen my grandpa since last March. I will be flying home from California to pay my last respects and be with my family. This was the sweetest and most selfless man and my family is completely heartbroken right now. I couldn't sleep last night and I have been an emotional mess this morning but writing has always helped me with my emotions so that's why I felt like typing this out and I knew the awesome members of this site would appreciate the man that they never met.

    I can't put into words what he meant to me. While I am deeply saddened, there is a relief knowing that he is no longer suffering. I am just heart broken for my grandma that she lost her soul mate but she is a strong woman.

    Sorry for the rambling but I hope that you will say a quick prayer for my family and specifically my grandma. I know she really needs it right now.

    RIP Walter Julian Cahion 12/11/12 :flag:
    You meant more to me than you will ever know. I love you so much
  2. Sorry to hear of your loss.. My prayers are with you and your family..

  3. deltabowhunter

    deltabowhunter Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry for your loss, zane. I had a very similar grandpa that passed away back in 2003. There's rarely a time I spend in the woods that my thoughts don't eventually go to our times together chasing coons, squirrels, deer, and him just teaching me woodsmanship. Remember the good times, and pass those stories and teachings down to your kids.
  4. Tony Harris

    Tony Harris Super Moderator<br>2012-13 Deer Hunting Contest Wi Staff Member

    Wonderful stories, beautiful memories. I am ushered back to memories of my grandparents as I read this. Thank you for sharing this with us. Prayers sent for your family.
  5. BIG JIM

    BIG JIM Select Member<br>Ol Eagle Eye

    My grandfather also was a WWII vet and I now own his Belgium Browning auto 5. I can relate to a lot of what you said. Thanks for sharing and sorry for your loss.
  6. BDW

    BDW Premium Member<br>Merganser Slayer<br>2011 Turkey

    Sorry for your loss, and my prayers are with you. God bless.
  7. CBD

    CBD Well-Known Member

    x2, God bless you.
  8. Sorry for your loss. I lost my papaw in September and I feel your pain. We were very close. I know its a tough time especially this time of year, or anytime for that matter. You have some great memories to cherish. This will be our first Christmas will out our papaw and I'm not sure what it will be like, different non the less. God bless you and your family.
  9. Mr. Chitlin

    Mr. Chitlin Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    NE Ark
    Sorry for your loss Zane. Sounds like you have lots of great memories though.
  10. DeLancey

    DeLancey Well-Known Member

    Sorry for you loss brother. Now your papaw can hunt with you every time your out.

    MO HUNTER Well-Known Member

    Lost my Papaw in 08, still shed tears for him today! Thoughts and prayers for you and your family will be sent.
  12. RC

    RC Well-Known Member

    +1 Been 10 years since I lost my grandpa. He was in the Korean war. He never would speak of it. I miss him greatly.
  13. Hill Farm Hunter

    Hill Farm Hunter Well-Known Member

    Brother I know exactly how you feel. Your gonna miss him something awful, but you can take comfort in knowing he is rejoicing and not being held back by health problems any more.
    That truly was the greatest generation. The Grandad I knew was in the Navy. Lost him to cancer many years ago. He has been gone almost twice as long as I knew him, and I still have lots of memories and hear stories of others memories of him.
    I'm sorry for your loss, but enjoyed reading about your Grandpa. Sounds like a man folks were proud to know.
  14. bmccullough1

    bmccullough1 Well-Known Member

    Zane, I may be speaking just for myself, I believe that we all enjoy hearing stories like you have shared with us. Men like your grandfather have taught us how to be the men we are today. Tell stories about him often and keep his memories close to your heart. God Bless you & your family during this time.
  15. chaley

    chaley Well-Known Member

    Sorry for your loss Zane! We will be praying for you family and your grandma especially! Both my grandpas were WWII vets and great men...that was a generation of great men and women!
  16. Dang, that was a tear jerker. Sorry for your loss. I feel for you.
  17. AR Thumper

    AR Thumper Well-Known Member

    Sorry For your loss. You are truly blessed to have known him,Both of my grandfathers died before I was Born. I doubt my dad knew him but they chewed some of the same dirt in the battle of the bulge.Remember the good times & take comfort in the fact he is not suffering anymore.
  18. Hobbshunter

    Hobbshunter Well-Known Member

    Hate to hear it for you Zane. I lost my Pap in October (a similar member of the greatest generation), and it sucks. None of us live forever though, and it sounds like your Pawpaw lived an outstanding life. He left footprints on this earth that wont soon be washed away. That's really all a guy can hope for when you get down to it.
  19. Triple Threat

    Triple Threat Well-Known Member

    Zane, sorry for your loss but so glad that you had a great man like that in your life. You make me wish I had known him. God bless.
  20. I think I got something in my eyes there for a minute.
    Prayers for your Grandmother and your family.