John B. Hendricks, Sr. March 31, 1934 - July 29, 1993)
I will not make this a downer post. I swear.
The gentleman in this picture is my grandfather (Flora's great-grandson). That picture was taken of us when I was maybe 3. I have other pictures of us when I'm older (not that much older, he passed away when I was almost 7), but they have people in them that probably don't want to be on here so I chose this picture instead.
He died when I was two months away from being 7, but I remember him pretty well because he made such a big impact. I thought he hung the moon when I was a kid, still do. He was in the Army, he was an air traffic controller, then he opened a used bookstore. I practically grew up in that store, a once hole in the wall place that went from having two employees (the owners) to 9 employees today. Because he opened that store, I have a love of reading and writing, plus I have made so many friends throughout the years there.
My favorite memory of him in there is when I went in when i was maybe 6 years old and tried to buy a bunch of books with my birthday money. I couldn't understand why he was giving them to me for free. I wanted to pay! I remember him taking the money and putting it back in my little purse. Eventually I believe he ended up taking a dollar from me, probably just to shut me up.
Then there were the sacrifices he made. I'm not going to go into them, because they are deeply personal, but he did alot for his family. I didn't know it as a kid, but I sure as hell know it as an adult. The more I know about him, the more I realize he was a brave, sweet, compassionate man that I was very lucky to have in my life for 7 years.
I also think he'd get a kick out of the fact I'm a writer marrying into a family of air traffic controllers. :)