Living the Spirit of My Grandfather


As I was putting my daughter in her car seat this morning I heard a familiar sound, faint in the distance. I paused and looked at Dublin, then said, “Did you hear that?” She looked at me curiously. I smiled then helped answer her curiosity, “I heard a train!” I suddenly had the spirit of my grandfather with me.

I was about the same age as my daughter is now when he would hear a train whistle blowing in the distance and get the same smile I was giving my daughter just then. “Want to go see the train passing by?” I asked with excitement. “Train?” she replied with a smile. I finish buckling her into her car seat, then buckle myself into my seat and pointed the car towards the train tracks.

Grandpa would carry me the three short blocks, from the house, to where the train tracks are. He had a fascination with trains. When we got to the tracks he would always count the engines and then count the cars. When the caboose passed by, we would leave.

I drove the three blocks down to the tracks, but didn’t see the train. I turned left and drove all the way down to the dead end and turned around. I continued on that street paralleled to the tracks, not seeing a train, nor hearing a train whistle; I guess it must have already passed through.

Even though they stopped adding the caboose years ago, but it’s still a habit to count the cars each time I’m stopped in front of a passing train.

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