“Girl of My Dreams”

I was lucky enough to have a visit last night with my Hawaiian family. For any of you who have not seen my earlier blog posts, I have an aunt, uncle, and two young cousins who live in paradise. I spent some time living with them for a few months two years ago, which you can read about in earlier posts on this blog, but I have not had the chance to see them much since. Here is an adorable picture of my cousins and I last night:

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Aren’t they the cutest??

Yesterday, the Hawaiians (along with my grandparents) made a stop in Edmonton on a whirlwind trip through western Canada. By the end of this trip they will have spent time in a long list of places including Edmonton, Red Deer, Jasper, Lake Louise, Kelowna, Kamloops, and Vancouver. I think it’s great for the kids to have the opportunity to see so many places in Canada at such a young age.

Anyhow, yesterday we all went for a dinner with some family in St. Albert, and we got to talking about my great grandparents. That is the real reason I decided to write a blog post today. I feel that stories about family are a part of each individual’s history, and I try to make the most of any opportunities I have to learn about those who came before me. My grampa told a touching story last night about his parents, and I wanted to try to put it in writing. I may not get all the details right, but the main ideas of the story are what really matter, and that’s what I want to share here today.

I never met my great grandfather from this side of my family – he died when my dad was about 10 years old. I have heard a few stories over the years about Grandpa Jack, but I feel like I missed out with never having met him. I do have memories of his wife, my great grandmother, who we called “Ama”. This is a name my dad gave her when he was young and couldn’t quite manage to say “Grandma”. From there, it just stuck. Ama passed away when I was 12 or so – I remember it as my first real touch with death.

The story last night came out of an unexpected discussion about musicality. Many members in my family seem to have some natural musical talent – I wish I was one of the ones that got a little more of that! – and my grampa commented that Grandpa Jack was quite a singer. In fact, he had a singing quartet with his three brothers before they went away to serve overseas in the war, which is where the story begins.

Ama and my Grandpa Jack were married right before Jack was sent away to war. They didn’t have the chance to really have any sort of life together before he was gone and she had no guarantee that he would return. They had only letters to get them through, but for one rare exception. As I already mentioned, my Grandpa Jack was apparently quite the singer, and he once serenaded Ama from across the ocean over the military radio. He sang “Girl of My Dreams”, and this was the only time Ama heard his voice over the 6 years he was away.

Girl of my dreams, I love you
Honest I do, you are so sweet
If I could just hold your charms
Again in my arms
Then, life would be complete!

Since you’ve been gone, dear
Life don’t seem the same
Please come back again!

And after all’s said an’ done
There’s only one
Girl of my dreams, it’s you!

Since you’ve been gone, dear
Life don’t seem the same
Please come back again!

And after all’s said an’ done
There’s only one
Girl of my dreams, it’s you!

I can’t even begin to imagine how emotional and powerful hearing something like that would have been for Ama – it’s difficult to think about a world like that in today’s social-media-powered society. Luckily, this story has a happy ending since Grandpa Jack and all his brothers did actually return from the war – which I think seems incredibly fortunate – and Ama and Jack went on to build a family together.

When I think of my own history, I want to always remember as many pieces of my family’s past as possible. Everything that Ama and Grandpa Jack went through is just one story of hundreds of thousands of stories about the war, but this story is a part of my story, so it is important to me and I believe it is worth being heard.

To end off, here’s a picture of my aunt, Stacy, and I at Grandpa Jack and Ama’s grave last year.

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Love KG

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4 thoughts on ““Girl of My Dreams”

  1. John Glass

    What an incredibly astute and kind Granddaughter we have. You saw me cry at Glen’s and when I read this I shed another tear…Thank you Love Grampa.

  2. Linda flaman

    Your great grandparents were a HUGE part of my life, K. Some day I’ll have to tell you some stories. Thanks for sharing your story – your Grandma Terri hooked me up with your previous blogs and I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of them. ~ Linda Flaman xo

  3. Pingback: A Family Thing | Yukon Girl in the World

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