Happy Father’s Day, Grandpa

Happy Father’s Day, everyone! I have been trying to decide if I wanted to write a post today, and I finally decided that there’s someone pretty important to me that I wanted to write about: my grandpa.

I honestly do not even know where to begin. My grandfather is the kind of person that would take a little bit more than five buzz words to describe. There is no nut shell when it comes to him, so giving you a glimpse into the person that has been more like a father to me is a little difficult.

I can tell you that when I prepare one of my friends to meet him for the first time, I always warn them that he’s just a little bit crazy. And by crazy I mean one of the most extroverted and sarcastic people I know, and that’s one of the things I love about him. His favorite way to tell someone he loves them is by telling jokes and making them laugh.

I can tell you that he is a natural-born leader. I joke that he doesn’t know what it means to be serious, but I know that he has the ability to take charge in a way that is not arrogant or unfair. He has a heart that yearns to see people happy and breaks when he sees them broken, and I see that when he is leading.

He loves his family more than I can understand. He would do anything to just make sure that they are okay. My grandparents have five children, sixteen grandchildren, and 5.5 great grandchildren, and not one birthday has gone without a call and an extra special version of “Happy Birthday.” If there is a sporting event, school play, band recital, or presentation there is a pretty good chance they will be there, and I can guarantee that Grandpa will be cracking jokes the entire time.

He has taught me that it’s far better to smile than worry about something completely out of my control. He has taught me that relationships are important, even if they are difficult. He tells me and anyone else who will listen that a day gone by having not learned something new is a day wasted. He has shown me what a husband is supposed to look like, but even better than that he has taught me that no marriage is perfect, and realizing this is more than half the battle of having a successful marriage.

I have learned so much from my grandfather, and for that I am more than blessed. But there is one thing that I think he’s instilled in me more than anything else: passion for what I love. The first time I decided that I wanted to be a writer I was ten years old. I held onto that until too many people told me I would never be able to make a career of that. My grandpa, on the other hand, didn’t do that. He didn’t tell me I could do anything I wanted to, either. Instead, he was honest. He told me to work towards what I wanted. He told me to do what I love. He also told me that it would not be easy, but he encouraged me anyway.

He laughs when my mom half-jokingly complains that I have no more room for my collection of books, but he encourages me to read more. When I said I wanted to go to Oxford but was afraid I wasn’t good enough, he told me to stop questioning and just go for it. When I told him that I wanted to move to England to get my Master’s and PhD and later teach, he sighed, joked that I wasn’t allowed to leave, but then smiled and told me he was proud of me. He has taught me to work until I’m ready to drop, then work some more, but to make sure I’m doing it because I’m working towards something that matters.

I love my Grandpa. He has been there enough to be both a Father and a Grandfather to me. I know this is one of the most cliche things I could say, but I do not know where I would be today if it weren’t for him. Grandpa, if you are reading this, happy Father’s Day. And thank you for always being there to tell me you love me more.

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