Heroes come in many forms. Some are Soldiers. Some are Mentors. Mine was a man that fit both these descriptions and fell in love with a lady, her family and impacted future family generations to come. He was hilarious, strong-willed, a leader and most importantly, My Grandpa Laird.
I lost my biological Grandpa (my Mom’s Dad) at a very young age due to an alcohol-related issue. I didn’t know him and unfortunately, on that side of the family, there wasn’t that figure. Glyn came into our lives at a very young age. I can remember him cracking jokes and working to get our affection from the get-go. He used to Joke that we would say “Are you crazy or something man?!”
He was very well driven. He was a member of the Navy and Air Force even earning the ranking of Master Sergeant. Amazingly after he completed his military service, he went to college at the age of 41 and completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Southern Miss earning Summa Cum Laude in both. This drove me in my educational journey and he always supported and advised very well as I completed my schooling towards my career choice.
As much to be expected he was a strong fighter in his battle with cancer. He fought with cancer for five long years. I remember his very final days him looking so frail but telling us that he is just fine. He also reminded me to keep going and he believed in me. He told me to be strong and keep pushing as amazing things were going to happen.
Glyn Laird – May 9, 1936 to August 28, 2018 – Age 82
Grandpa was the first one to pass as we started to go this awful rollercoaster ride of emotions that followed. I remember just being quiet and thinking that this man guided me and believed in me to the point that my career and my drive came from his very influence. This run would have to be different to honor him right.
It only seemed natural that this would be done on Veterans Day. I looked for races but surprisingly there was none scheduled. Through deeper search, I found a virtual race called the Veteran’s Day Gratitude Run. I planned my course and decided that instead of going for speed I would go for pure honor stopping and taking a picture of every flag I came across along the planned course. Even though it was below freezing I thought about Grandpa and his service in Korea and Vietnam. If he could go through that then there was nothing going to stop me from doing this for him.
11/11/2019 – Veterans Day Gratitude Virtual 5k Run – 41:52 (stopped to take flag pictures)
The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. – 1 Timothy 5:17