Remembering My Grandfather, Ed Henderson

Remembering My Grandfather, Ed Henderson

1930-2017.
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On January 4, the wonderful man that I was lucky enough to call my grandfather, Ed Henderson, went on to Heaven after a hard fought battle with intense surgical complications. Though I was lucky enough to be blessed with my grandpa for 19 years, I am still shocked and trying to process this extreme loss. There will never be a day that I will not miss him, not want to talk to him or not just want to hear his voice. As hard as this will be for me and for the rest of my family, I have to remind myself that he is no longer in pain, he is no longer weak, and he is with Jesus. Thinking of the wonderful memories that I have are the only way I am able to cope, we had so many special times together. While many will unfortunately only remember the terrible way that he had to die, I am choosing instead to remember the way that he lived, with a positive mind and a great heart.

Ed Henderson was the definition of class. Born in 1930, raised by a single mother in a small, southern town, he grew to be the perfect gentleman who would one day make the perfect husband to my equally amazing grandmother and the perfect father to my mother and aunt. Before becoming a family man, he was a member of the United States Air Force where he served time on various bases, including one all the way out in Alaska. It wasn't long after he was out of the military that he met and became immediately smitten with my grandmother. The two met in February of 1956 and were married in August of that same year. They had a fairy tale relationship that you only read about in books. I will be lucky to find a man one day that loves me half as much as my grandfather loved my grandmother. During this time, my grandfather went to Virginia Tech to receive a business degree, and soon after started his job at a telephone company.

Soon after that, in the '60's, my mom and aunt were born, and they quickly became my grandfather's entire world. Everything he did was to provide for them and to make sure that they were successful in life. In 1970, the telephone company moved my grandpa and the family of four to Richmond, Virginia. The house that they moved into would eventually be his place of death, the quaint little house with the long porch on West Grove Avenue in Chester. 46 years of family memories fill that house to the brim, I often wonder what the house would say if it could talk. Would it tell the stories of our many Christmases, which all had the same amount of love and tradition filling the living room?

My grandpa was an active part of the Chester community, a long time member of the Chester Civitan Club, Chesterfield County Republican Committee and the Chester United Methodist Men. There wasn't a topic that he enjoyed more than history, though politics was a close second, and the many books of his that surround the warm, welcoming den where he would eventually meet Jesus play a tribute to that. He inspired my love of politics. I can remember many Election Day's in my young life, sitting at the local high school, volunteering for the Republican Committee with him.

He always made time for me. He was always there to teach me how to ride a bike, help me with my math homework or just listen. I just adored him, and I did from the moment I saw him. My heart will always wonder how to go on without him, but I know that while physically, he may be with the angels, spiritually, he is here with me. How do I know this? A little over a day after he went to Heaven, I was driving down the road listening to my favorite rap playlist on Spotify. I was trying to keep my mind off of how heartbroken I was over the loss. Weirdly enough, a feeling washed over me that I can't explain. All of a sudden, I was changing the playlist to the soundtrack of one of our favorite movies to watch together, Singing In The Rain.

I'm not one who believes in paranormal activity, but there is no doubt in my mind that spirits come around every once in a while, and he was with me in the car that night. I could feel it, and said "Hi, Pop." and once I stopped at a stoplight, I played some of the voicemails I still have of his over the speaker in my car and listened to them until I got home. It was almost like we were having a conversation. Once I pulled in my driveway, I was scared to get out of the car, so I just sat there for a minute and cried. I hadn't cried much before then, but it felt good. It felt like I was finally actually feeling this terrible thing that had happened.

Anyone who knew Ed Henderson was blessed. Pop, there will never be a day that I will not miss you. Thank you for being the greatest person, role model and grandfather a girl could ask for, I love you with my whole heart.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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The Problem With Season 8 Of 'Game Of Thrones' Isn't Just In The Creators — It's The Fans, Too

Let's not allow our own fallible hopes for more, ruin what we had in front of us.
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Season 8 Episode 5 was masterful, but it won't get that credit because the tide has turned with fans; Season 8 won't be perceived as good because hardcore fans have decided so.

This season was never going to end satisfyingly, so we should shut up and try to enjoy the end to a series we've been with so long.

I once overheard the saying, "happiness is reality minus expectations," and I can't help but think it applies to the dissatisfaction fans all over the world seem to have with the ending of "Game of Thrones." We, as a fan base, fell in love with our theories and when the canonical story unfolded in front of our eyes and lacked what we wished it didn't, we're all left with the taste of wildfire in our mouths. I know it's cool to hate GoT right now, but don't miss the chance to appreciate this show, and the spectacle it creates so incredibly before it's gone.

Live look-in on what it's like defending Thrones online this season.


The decision to make Thrones have shortened seasons and longer episodes were single-handedly the worst choices the show could make. Fitting that a show with Jaime Lannister has a single-handed reason for anything. You can't replace the real-time, week-to-week, break that helps aid character development. Simply making episodes longer doesn't replace that, in fact, it makes the story feel even more rushed.

The number of episodes in Season 7 and 8 and their respective duration were released well before the episodes aired. In some ways, this was the original sin of trying to end Thrones. It annoyed fans who grew accustomed to 10 episodes a season. That length makes sense when you consider how much world building and storylines need to be fleshed out each year.

However, fans realized were told just how little screen time was left in the series virtually right after the series wrapped up Season 6 — arguably the greatest stretch of episodes by any show in TV history — the realization became apparent: Whoever is running the show wants to be done with it.

It's actually pretty obvious why they would want to be done with it as well, and I'm not even factoring in the bullshit internet outrage the entire cast & crew has had to deal with for the entire duration of the show.

D&D; (David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the showrunners) couldn't handle the weight of this epic saga. Their imaginations crushed under the climactic pressure of George R. R. Martin's brainchild like the Mountain and the Viper.

In the beginning, the Thrones writing staff had an abundance of source material at their disposal. The promise of "The Winds of Winter" being finished before the show was over seemed like a sure thing, but it never happened. G.R.R.M. never really upheld his end of the bargain. He recently admitted he hasn't even started the last book, "A Dream of Spring."

To the defense of D&D;, they never signed up to create fan-fiction. There is a discernible difference in quality when the show has source material to work with and when they have the Spark Notes to work with. As a fan, I knew going into this newest season of Thrones that it would be a diminished product.

As much as it hurts, Tormund should've died in this fight.


The show showed a lack of convictions in Season 7 and some rushed storytelling, too. This isn't to say the season was utter garbage overall (though it was pretty bad). The actors, writers like Bryan Cogman, and production designers did everything in their power to deliver a great show.

The best non-battle moment in all of S7. www.youtube.com

No matter how silly it was that nearly everyone survived that encounter beyond the wall with the Night King, it will never take away some of the iconic moments Season 7 was able to produce.

The TV show, whether they think it's what fans want or not, has chiseled down the cast to a handful with two main focuses. Essentially this has been the Dany and Jon show for the past 12 episodes. Us fans got used to losing important characters at the drop of a hat, but when season 7 didn't much deliver, it pointed toward the show following a more formulaic route. Thrones decided to save most of those deaths for the endgame. Which is honestly fine with me.

I am confident the novels (if they're ever finished) will be much more fulfilling and will end in a completely different manner. The novels won't be afraid to make us hurt, and George R. R. Martin is fine with taking his time — a luxury the show doesn't have.

This show was never gonna end 'well,' but it does have to end. The 'Cleganebowl' was everything I could've hoped for. The way Jaime and Cersei ended their Shakespearean romance was tragic and beautiful. The goodbye between Tyrion and Jaime may be my favorite moment of S8 so far. Let's not allow our own fallible hopes for more, ruin what we had in front of us.

After all, Ramsay Bolton said it best.

If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention... www.youtube.com

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