A few weeks ago, my son Jim, married a wonderful girl named Kasia. They make a great couple. They aren’t teenagers and they hope to have children and soon. I hope so. I look forward to becoming a grandfather.
On the day of their wedding, I had a conversation with my oldest son, Bob, and his girlfriend, Colleen. I’m named after my father, so I am junior. My son is also named after my dad, so he is the third. Colleen never met my father and is always mixing things up calling me senior and Bob, junior. She asked if I would mind if we started calling me senior and Bob Junior.
I’m afraid I may not have answered it as nicely as I should have. It had already been a long day and I reacted poorly. I’ve thought about it quite a bit since. Although I realize I should have been more polite my stand remains. The titles, senior, junior or the third are not positions that one moves up to.
My father was the greatest man I’ve ever known. His courage and wisdom, as well as his dedication to his family, community, and country, will always stay with me. To assume his name, Robert J. Weisskopf Sr. would cause him to vanish. I want him to be remembered by my sons and their children. I want them to remember my father’s story. He is immortal if he is remembered.
I too would like the same immortality. I’ve been retired seven years and there are not many people left that remember me. I want my sons to tell their kids about me and then my grandkids to tell their children the stories.
I write my articles and my books so my grandkids will someday look back and see their grandfather or great grandfather accomplished something special. They’ll be able to read my work and learn about me. They’ll see my opinions and learn my morals and ethics. They’ll learn about me and my friends and family. Hopefully, they’ll pass this on to their children. That’s my shot at immortality.
As I get older, the importance of not being forgotten grows. When I was a teenager, I believed I’d live forever. Now, after several close calls, I know I’m no longer on the uphill climb in my life. I look forward to passing my experiences to my family.
I find the importance of family is greater than most anything else. I also know that family extends beyond blood relations. I have a small family through blood and a huge family in blue. To all my family I want to wish a Merry Christmas and a healthy, prosperous New Year.
Robert J. Weisskopf Jr.