Today is Thanksgiving here in Florida and as such, I felt like sharing this story written by my son Chris when he was 10 years old. It’s a story about his hero and grandfather, J. B. Harrell, and why he is thankful for him.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday!
I was eight years when my grandfather passed away. His name was J. B. Harrell. He died at the age of 81. A man I thought had no boundaries of knowledge and had no fears.
I went fishing for the first time in my life with him and I’ve been hooked ever since. We spent many hours sitting on the bank, talking. Even if we didn’t catch anything we still had fun. We talked about when he was a young boy my age and how his life had been. In my eight years with him, he taught me things I will never forget.
He tried to teach me responsibility and what was right and wrong. Bringing me up like he was raised. When I would do something my way, he sometimes taught me another way that would work better without making me feel bad. I never gave up on anything he was teaching me. I would keep trying until I could do it.
Our favorite thing to do together was to sit under a tree and whittle with our special knives. When he was in the hospital he fussed so much to the nurse and doctors they let him go outside on a bench and whittle with me. I think it made him feel better. He spit on the curls and made them come to life. And I thought it was magic.
He showed me how important family is. Towards the end of his life he wanted to make sure I would never take drugs, smoke or drink. His wish was to see me grow up.
My grandfather was the bravest man I know. He refused to go through treatments for his cancer, but chose to stay at home with his family close by. We shared his last days together in his room. I will grow up to make him proud.