I'd like to tell you about a special man who recently left us. He's my grandpa, Binnie Craig, and he died on December 23, 2005 of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and lung-related illnesses. He's the reason I quit smoking. Binnie Craig was born on April 1st, 1937 in grew up in Petersburg, Illinois. He joined the Army and served 20 years, including serving in Vietnam. He earned the Army Commendation Medal and retired in 1974 as a SFC.
Grandpa always had a way of making me laugh and had this way of kind of making fun of you if you acted ditzy (which I tend to a do a lot of). I miss that. I was the last family member getting into California, arriving in California with my husband and daughter in tow at 9am on December 23rd, 4 hours after Grandpa passed away. My dad was waiting for us and told me in the airport. I've had a hard time reconciling the fact that I never got a chance to say goodbye, not even on the phone for him to hear. My sister did tell him I said, "I love you" and he said "I love you" back. I extended my stay in California and we went to the wake, but I ended up missing the funeral because I came down with a really bad flu and was bedridden. The next time I go home to visit, I plan on going to his grave to just talk to him.
Most recently, I had a dream with Grandpa in it, where we had taken him home from the hospital, knowing he was going to die, but he was at peace with it, and we were saying our goodbyes. I called my cousin and explained it to her, and we both realized that was the way Grandpa wanted to go- at home in his own bed, and maybe this was his way of saying goodbye to me, in my dream.
I still have a jar of Strawberry Chocolate Mint spread he made for everyone before he died. I cannot bring myself to open it up, even though I'm sure he's looking down on me and saying, "Darnit Jennifer! You don't waste food!" and shaking his head.
Sometimes when I see rays of light through clouds I think it's Grandpa saying hello. My own daughter even decided to take his obituary to class for Show and Tell this week and talked about her Great-Grandpa and how he was a veteran.
I realize I spoke briefly of my Grandpa being a Veteran, but today I am thinking of him and really miss him.
In memory of Binnie Craig,
April 1, 1937 - December 23, 2005
I love you and miss you.
A picture of my father and his father together, one of the last times we all were together, in July 2005, having a BBQ.