The Courage to do what you must

Van and family
This is my grandfather, Van Wesley Carper whom I loved dearly. He died on this day 45 years ago when I was six years old and I still miss him. Now that I am north of fifty I realize how young he really was, only in his sixties. His life was shortened for the same reason many of his peers also died young. He was a coal-miner in southern West Virginia and died of black-lung, a disease caused by breathing coal dust.

America needed coal which provided the main source of energy for industry and transportation from the 18th century through the 1950s. The only way to get it was for men like my grandfather to go into the mines every day and dig it out. Mining was dangerous, back breaking, physically draining labor. The hours were long and the pay was atrocious. However, this was the work that was available and he had a family to provide for.

Today’s post is just to honor the many people who do “the job,” no matter what it is. Whether they are firefighters, police officers, members of the military, or even coal miners, the people who choose daily to face danger and hardship because there is a job to do and a family to feed, deserve our respect. Thank you.

About cecigiltenan

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7 Responses to The Courage to do what you must

  1. Annie Khemraj says:

    This is a very sad & touching story. My condolences to you Ceci. I know its hard to lose a love one. Time never heals the wound but it helps to fade some of the pain & loss we may feel.

    Your grandfather was a hero & a man worthy of respect. To face the unknown, all just to support his family is someone to admire & respect even if they are no longer with us in body form.

    I’m sure he’s looking out for you & your family Ceci! My love & hugs to you. I wish you peace on this day of remembering your grandfather!

    Shantie Annie Khemraj : )

  2. cecigiltenan says:

    Dear Annie,
    Thank you for your warm words. Time does dull grief but you are right, it never fully heals the pain from the death of a loved one. I know you lost your own dear grandfather recently and you and your family are in my thoughts.

    • Annie Khemraj says:

      Thank you Ceci! Your thoughts are greatly appreciated. His birthday is coming up & I only pray for strength to get through the day. My thoughts are with you & the family as well.


  3. Mary Morgan says:

    A very beautiful tribute, Ceci. To make an impact on you at such a young age is amazing and wonderful. His sense of courage and duty is the backbone of many families.

  4. (((HUGS))) to you, Ceci. Great post!

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