Jack Albert Daniel (aka, Bert) Attwell did that, taking Joyce as his bride just as he was going off to war. She was the kind of wife who would stand by his side through everything, and he knew it. A half-dozen decades later and Joyce was still standing by his side. Even as Alzheimer’s slowly tore away at the memory of so many of those years, they were together at the end, more than 71 years later.
2) Have kids.
Bert had lots. Seven to be exact. And seven children can have a way of turning into seven families, which can easily multiply into twenty-five grand children. And a gazillion great-grand-children.* And that is exactly what happened. A life of meaning and success can make a mark on the world, but when that mark is carried in the hearts of a new generation, the echoes of one life can be heard throughout eternity.
3) Laugh more than you should.
Grandpa had a joke for everything. Quick with one-liners and always ready to set someone up for a punchline, he never seemed to take himself or anybody else too seriously. It seemed that Grandpa’s intent in every situation was to make you feel at ease. As a child, I would sit on his lap for hours it seemed, prodding and pulling on his nose, his ears, his cheeks, as he would make different sounds and faces, each of which would result in my own burst of hysterical laughter. Even the last time I saw him, sitting quietly in a wheelchair, staring quietly at my children with a faint smile on his face, I had the impression that if I poked his belly he would erupt into a boisterous “HEEHEEHEEHEEHEEHEE!!” I will never forget his laugh. Continue Reading…