A little while ago my godfather passed away. I realized that godfather doesn't sound like maybe that important of role in a person's life but he was one of the most important, amazing person in my life. My grandfathers all passed away long before I was born, my mom's dad due to cancer and my dad's father was killed in a machinery accident on the North Slope when my dad was six so I'd never had that grandfather figure in my life. We moved to Seward when I was five and being the chatty little kid I was, I started talking almost instantly to the older gentleman across the alley. He'd just retired that year and came out everyday to garden and I'd stand in the alley and just talk, talk, talk to him through the fence. Then one day my bunny (The Aunt Shirley who escaped the dogs when Uncle Tom did not) got loose from her bunny pen and was having a great time running around and destroying the garden. The older gentlemen came over with his dip-net and after a lot of swinging about, captured my bunny. She ended up escaping a lot that summer and it wasn't until 17 years later that I admitted that my brothers and I kept letting her loose because it was so much fun to watch him try to catch her with the dip-net. (He just laughed and said he thought it was strange that the bunny was able to escape almost everyday.)
My parents became clothes friends with him and his wife and they were like grandparent to my brothers and I. They were amazing people who opened their hearts and their home to us. We had every Thanksgiving with them and the best days were always the days when we'd pile into the car with our bikes, drive to town and ride along the beach with Duane and Sanna. They were so important and special to us that my little sister was named after my godmother, Sanna and I named my son after him.
Even though he was retired he still was physically very strong, he hauled and split his own wood, was a subsistence hunter before that was a "thing" climbed mountains and skied. He was a veteran of WW11 and had lied about his age to get in in order to be with his younger cousin who'd also lied about his age in order to enlist. (He was pretty sure his 13 year old cousin would have gotten killed with out his watching over him.) He was proud of having served but never talk about his experiences aside from once, I know he was always very worried about another draft being reinstated and my brothers having to served. One of the sweetest thing I remember about him was that after every meal my godmother made, he would always do the dishes, every single time. It was just one of those incredibly sweet moments to witness. He was someone who had such a kind heart and patience, he was someone who I thought knew everything ion the world but was never a braggart. I'm sure he had faults but I never saw any of them, to me he was like my dad, he was Superman. And there's nothing I could ever say that would truly reflect the amazing man he was.