Voice of the people: Nancy Allyn Verhoek-Miller

November 5, 2013 9:50:36 AM



Thoughts of my World War I veterans 


As I dust the contents of my kitchen windowsill, I think of my two World War I veterans, my Grandfather William, and his brother, my great-uncle George. Uncle George didn't come home from the war. 


As I dust my kitchen windowsill and think I should pack away some of its contents, I pick up a toy duck and think of how Grandpa took his grandchildren to the pond by the house to feed the ducks. I pick up a toy robin and think of Grandpa saying "Spring is here!" when he saw the first robin of the season. I pick up a miniature book and think of Grandpa organizing shelves and cases for the books in the house and building additional shelves for other household collections. I dust a porcelain deer and think of my grandparents contributing a deer figurine to the first collection of my childhood. I pick up a toy tomato and think of the garden Grandpa tended by the house each year. 


I think of Grandpa as my grandfather and I think of Uncle George as the grandfather that he might have been if he had come home from the war. I imagine Uncle George taking grandchildren to feed the ducks. I think that Uncle George would have liked building shelves, sharing books, and organizing collections, too. I can see Grandpa and Uncle George having workbenches in the basements of their houses. I imagine Uncle George and Grandpa sharing tomatoes from their gardens, encouraging grandchildren to eat their vegetables, and then allowing the children to choose two pieces of candy from a fascinating candy dish. 


My kitchen windowsill and its contents are now dusted. I won't pack anything away. In fact, I add a little American flag and photos of Grandpa and Uncle George to the windowsill. I remember Grandpa as my grandfather, and I imagine Uncle George as the grandfather he might have been. I want to always remember my World War I veterans. 


Nancy Allyn Verhoek-Miller 


Mississippi State University