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A life snapshot
by Annette Franjie, Redlands, CA

 Giving Back...

Waiting for our plane, we all felt worried, scared and old. We looked over and saw a beautiful happy couple. “Hello there!” he chirped. Suddenly we all lit up with happiness. 

She smiled like a new bride; he was as excited as a young boy. He wore ribbons and medals on his heart and a chaplain cross on his soul. 

“What made you want to be a chaplain?” I asked. “I am just giving back! My grandchildren think I’m weird!” he chuckled. 

“My buddies carried me through blizzards when I couldn’t walk. We were in the same POW camp in Germany where the story of “The Great Escape” took place. I was rescued after eleven months -- and I have been giving back ever since!” he ended with a huge smile. 

I asked him if he had ever seen the movie “Saving Private Ryan”. “My grandkids won’t let me,” he whispered.

His angelic wife confided, “We’re sort of opposites. I like sports and he doesn’t. I like coffee and he doesn’t. But, I guess we might make it a few more years”. 

Life seems harder for their kids and their grandkids than it does for them. They lived through the Great Depression and she waited five years to marry her war hero. When he came home he weighed eighty pounds. Life is rosy for them and they just keep on giving. 

A fire department captain wanted to shake his hand. We all wanted to shake his hand. Thank you for what you have done for us. Thank you for still giving. 


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