Lessons from grandpa

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My grandpa was my hero and I his little  angel.
12 years have passed since I lost one of the most influential people in my life. My grandpa would be celebrating his 100 th birthday this month, one special occasion we shared. 

The man should have never made it to where he did (being highly premature in 1915 was not what it is today, fighting the front lines of the entire second world war was almost unheard of) but in doing so he brought so much to so many. My Grandpa taught me many many lessons.  Most of which can be transferred to all parts of life.

1. Humour : laugh. ALOT. At funny things but also yourself.  Laughing at yourself, your mistakes, your comical errors will lessen the load.  Life can be funny,make it so.

2.  Tell your story: The only thing my grandpa didn’t speak of often was his war years.  Otherwise the man told stories and shared memories, always! Those stories and memories gave me a huge appreciation for years passed, what hard times really mean, and that everyone has a story to share, everyone has been through tragedies, and we are not here to lessen them, judge or criticize.
We all have a voice, use it and use it wisely.

3.   Friendliness/kindness :One of my fondest memories is morning coffee at the local coffee shop every morning to enjoy a hot chocolate with the farmers and the wives, and the trips tucked in the back seat to the nearest city for Sunday trips during my visits.  Both entailed meeting friends and strangers alike. And strangers become friends. Smile at people, start a conversation, it may just be the best thing you’ve done in a while. I never heard the man dismiss someone or be rude.  He taught me to be kind, to everyone until proven otherwise, then still be kind.

4. Commitment.  This is from both grandpa and grandma.  Don’t just walk away from a marriage, home, friendship because this moment is tough.  When you make a commitment, follow through. My grandpa returned from war, married grandma and brought baggage like most of us would turn away from.  She stood by him, loved him and truly was his better half.  He was the oldest home dialysis patient in Canada.  Three times a day those two would sit down for the treatment, grandma administrating, grandpa talking.  They taught me perseverance and strength, that even during the bad there can be wonderful.  All because of a commitment they took seriously.

5. Hard work: the man worked hard. I often sat in his workshop while he tinkered.  The smell of sawdust still tears me up.  Sure by this time he was retired, but his hands were never idle.  He taught me to take pride in my work and in myself.  He taught me I was good enough, smart enough and determined enough to do whatever I wanted to do. The quiet moments we shared puttering were some of the best and carried the biggest lessons of all.  He believed in me, trusted me and showed me that giving up was never an option.

6. Take time for yourself : grandpa loved his naps, his cartoons and his wood shop.  I believe that those moments were his and his alone.  Time to think, ponder, reflect. He genuinely liked his own company. I watched and learned that no matter what is going on, it is perfectly acceptable to take that myself moment.  To say no, to rest when you need and to enjoy your own company, so you can be the best you. Heck if you don’t like yourself it’s kind of hard for others to!

7. Be you : my grandpa taught me that being me was enough.  Even if it took me a while to get it.  He always always accepted not only me for me, but others as well just the way we were.  He didn’t care what colour you were, what size you wore, how many degrees you held, or how much money you had.  He only cared if you were decent and kind. And when you messed that up, he still liked ya! He loved me enough to prove to me that I was loved, unconditionally, for always.

Yes lessons learned from grandpa are some of life’s best lessons.

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2 Responses to “Lessons from grandpa”

  1. lessonsforteacher Says:

    Lovely. He sounds like a wonderful man full of wisdom. I love my grandpa too xx

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