The kids each have a popa Steve. It worked well for picking a middle name for Keaton but fell apart when Gage was on his way.

Grandma Sue has a Steve
nana has a popa,

Sue's popa
and nana's popa.

Popa Steve retired yesterday. Sue's not mine. They celebrated with a family dinner last night and the boys couldn't understand why we weren't coming. They understand and will tell you, as they did yesterday in trying to figure this all out, that they are 1/2 Dille and 1/2 Smith. They also know their mommy is all Dille and their daddy, all Smith but we do so much together with the Smith's, the lines blur for them. They think I am all Dille and we will have THAT talk another day. Gage has been absolutely fascinated with the Story I told him about my mother. He has asked about her all his life, and I lie to him. He will look me straight in the eye and ask me if she was nice and I will hold his stare and lie through my teeth and say yes. For now, that is the only way it can be but I did tell him the Story I heard several times growing up.

Germany, WW2. My mother was a young woman and own her way home from work, she was chased and shot at by the Americans. Different versions have had different details but the jest of it was she dodged the bullets and kept running until she got to her apartment and was safe, Her mental problems have been blamed on this and a few other incidents. Gage can't get enough of this Story and has shared with Grandma Sue and whoever else will listen. The one he doesn't know is when a bit later, her apartment complex was bombed and they had to get out fast. The neighbor upstairs had a baby and my mother ran up the stairs, grabbed the baby who was on fire and ran down the stairs. When she got outside and unwrapped the baby, all that was left was ashes.

I don't and never will know how much, if any is true but it would explain a lot. Popa Steve is a pilot. First commercial, then UPS. He has flown all over the world. I imagine he will have lots of Stories to tell the kids once he settles into retirement. I also imagine it will take some time to sink in. Over the years, he has miss many birthdays, holidays and soccer games just not of his gk but his own sons. The other reality is retirement. It means you are entering another chapter. It makes you face your mortality, like it or not - here I come! It must be a bittersweet experience, one I am glad I will never have to have. Being downsized was a way better way to go, but I would have loved to see the firetruck shoot over the plane as he came in for his final flight. I wish for a great retirement for popa Steve only I wish it was nana's popa...