This is my grandfather. He's wearing his Coast Guard uniform before deployment in World War II. He can't be older than 19, but he had already lived more than I have in my 28 years. Grandpa Joe would be married soon, if he wasn't already here. His first child would be born while he was at war. His shipmates would get him drunk on Puerto Rican rum. After the Japanese surrendered, he had the chance to go to Antarctica with Rear Admiral Richard Byrd as part of Operation Highjump. Instead, he went home to his family.
He returned from the war and had four more children with my grandmother. He was a postman. Then a teacher. Then a guidance counselor. And somehow, in a tiny cape cod brimming with children, wrote two books on a pad and clipboard while sitting in a bathtub.
I look at this photo often. It reminds me of how much I love and admire the man. It reminds me to live, work and write by his example.