After the tornado, A man and his trains…

The photo is courtesy of Donna Surgenor. Thank you. He is well past 80. He has fought battles with cancer and won and still fights one. He retired as a Major. But that is only the part of the story. The man I am writing about is my step dad and he has taught me so much. How to hang on, how to be strong and now I hope I can help him. His and my moms home where my sister, twins and youngest son live was hit by the tornadoes in Ga last week. We are blessed they were all gone and not killed as so many others sadly were.
But this story is about him and some trains. See, he grew up really poor and they never had money for much of anything. But, I guess when he was about 12, his dad was able to give him a train. Not a set but one little train. He cherished it and has kept it all these years and during his life, he added to that little train until he finally had a collection of them. He went into the army to help support his family and to be able to get his teeth fixed. And he bought nothing for himself but trains here and there.
As I said earlier he served our country and retired a Major. But he never forgot that first little train and for years we watched with the joy on his face as he would run those trains on the set up he made and show us how and what kind they were and the story behind them. While we were so blessed, my heart broke when I saw the tornado had destroyed his trains. The treasure in his heart that he took such pride in. There is no replacing that first train or the others, Many were very old.
But, just like everything, he just sees the good and say’s how blessed that they were all ok. But I see the heartache in his picture. I love you Papa and I am so glad you are still here with us. But if I could have given you anything, it would have been that your trains were spared. The reminder of how bad things used to be but how hard you worked to make things good in life. I am sorry. I love you.