There have been countless influential people in my life that I’ve come across. One who was a meticulous inspiration continues to be my grandfather. My grandmother had remarried to the one I call “grandpa” when I was at the age of five, and they both took to each other’s grandchildren as their own. With my mother and me only living a mile down the road from their farmhouse out in the country, I’d spent heaps amount of time there as a child. Indeed, I had been without a father but my grandfather stepped up to the plate and had taken me under his wing and willingly played the personification of a father figure.
I will tell you a tale of a woman of great success. This is a woman that has inspired me to be something great one day and to never give up trying. Though she may be growing into her elderly years she has lived a very challenging, joyful, loving and successful life. She is a woman of great faith and character, she is my grandmother.
Many turning points have occurred in my life, but I would say one really sticks out for me. This was when my granddad died in 2010. I talked about this event and how it affected my life in a thought piece earlier this year, but I thought this would be a good opportunity to elaborate on such a life changing event.
I have an abundance of grotesque, yet, barely visible memories of childhood. However, no breathtaking family trips, no unique family togetherness that taught a moral lesson, no abnormal holidays. We still ate family meals together, but most often the children and adults lived in different worlds. When I needed comforting or wanted the best of both worlds, I could turn to my Grandpa.
Everyone experiences loss, but the difference is our beliefs of where those individuals go when their time is up here. I have experienced losing friends and family from drugs, freak accidents, diseases, and just natural death. I have seen death right in front of my eyes, but somehow I still find something to comfort me. A place where there is only a peace and where there is no more pain, Heaven.
The morning was gloomy and cold. Today was November 22nd at the Hope Lutheran Church. Today, my family and I were attending Grandma’s memorial service. My family looked so cleaned up and fancy. I thought if this wasn’t a memorial service we were going to, we looked like we were going to a fancy dinner. Nevertheless, it wasn’t the latter. All 14 of us piled into two separate cars and headed on our way. I felt empty and hollow approaching the church. Today would be the day that my family and I would shed waterfalls streaming from our eyes. The church had felt homely and rustic before, but now it felt dark and sad. Grandma didn’t deserve to die, I thought, as I went through the doors of the church. The church felt warm inside, like a warm blanket from the dryer. Why is 2014 such a bad year for us? Why did Uncle Mike die? Why
The death of a loved one is one of the most challenging events I have had to overcome. The summer of 2014, I was just going into my junior year, was one for the books. It was an absolutely amazing summer. My sister had her first baby in May and we were getting to make his first summer his best, but little did we know it would also be his last. We lost him at the end of July. It was one of the hardest things to cope with. So many unanswered questions still to this day stand.
When you think of losing a grandparent in your life, you think of them passing away. You dread the day you will get the call that they are sick. You then begin to cherish all the moments you have with them leading up to their passing. You have time to except their sickness, and come to terms with the outcome that is to come. My PopPop is not here anymore, but do not get confused, for he is alive. I did not have warning. I did not have time to cherish him. I did not have time to say goodbye. My PopPop was on no medication, which was almost uncanny for a 75-year-old. Trying to encompass everything he was boils down to a few things that may not seem like much to someone who didn’t know him. He went on a walk every night after dinner, and would whistle the same tune when he was happy. He played the same little ditty on the piano every time we were all in the living room. He was a simple man who could not harm a fly, and a good man. Unlike the grandchild warned when they are going to lose a grandparent, I did not have this notice. I did not have time to go on one last walk with him, and I did not have time to record him on the piano. I did not have time to replicate his whistling song, or to spend time with the man I knew. My PopPop was the heathiest man I knew, but then he got depression. First slowly, then all at once. The man I knew had slipped from my fingers without any chance to hold on tighter.
It was a Monday night; I remember it like it was yesterday. I had just completed my review of Office Administration in preparation for my final exams. As part of my leisure time, I decided to watch my favorite reality television show, “I love New York,” when the telephone rang. I immediately felt my stomach dropped. The feeling was similar to watching a horror movie reaching its climax. The intensity was swirling in my stomach as if it were the home for the butterflies. My hands began to sweat and I got very nervous. I could not figure out for the life of me why these feelings came around. I lay there on the couch, confused and still, while the rings continued. My dearest mother decided to answer this eerie phone call. As she
My father passed away in 1991, two weeks before Christmas. I was 25 at the time but until then I had not grown up. I was still an ignorant youth that only cared about finding the next party. My role model was now gone, forcing me to reevaluate the direction my life was heading. I needed to reexamine some of the lessons he taught me through the years.
February twenty-third 2010 was just a regular ordinary day. I was on my way to class on this cold February afternoon, when my phone rung. It was my cousin on the other end telling me to call my mom. I could not figure out what was wrong, so I quickly said okay and I hung up and called my mom. When my mom answered the phone I told her the message but I said I do not know what is wrong. My mom was at work and could not call right away, so I took the effort to call my cousin back to see what was going on. She told me that our uncle was in the hospital and that it did not look good. Starting to tear up I pull over in a fast food restaurant parking lot to listen to more to what my cousin had to say. She then tells me to tell my mom to get to
I think the person who has had the most profound effect on my life besides my parents is my grandfather. I never realized before how much of an effect he had on my interests and goals for the future. Years ago, he used to tell me stories about historical events and experiences he had fighting in Vietnam and my great grandfather fighting in World War 2. His vivid descriptions always made it so interesting and, in some cases, more light-hearted than what actually happened. To this day he still has more stories to tell me, and never fails to captivate my interest. In doing this, he opened my eyes to my biggest interest, history, and encouraged me to pursue this interest throughout school. I feel like it would help to give a short summary of his life and how it affected me.
When we were together we were invincible, us against the world. I’d look up to him, not only because he was 6’4, but because he was my grandpa. I have clear memories of him picking me up from school, playing old school reggae music during our adventurous car rides. We’d always sing along to our favorites, sometimes turn the music up so loud the people in the cars next to us could hear it. When I would visit his apartment, the familiar smell of drywall and pennies would fill the air. It was my hideaway, my home away from home. My grandpa collected pennies in water jugs. He would say that one day they’d be worth more than just pennies. I loved it there, not only because he had a freezer filled with many flavors of ice cream to which he would often say to me “you can have all you can eat” but because it was our time to bond. For five years it was my mom, my dad, and my grandpa helping me to grow. Those are my favorite people, my role models. Being around my grandpa brought me such comfort and joy.
While I was spending this past year in Israel studying, my grandparents decided to come spend a couple months there touring and spending time with their grandchildren who were there. My grandfather always surprises me with new stories beginning with him escaping from the holocaust all the way until coming to the United States and starting a beautiful family. Many of my weekends in Israel while my grandparents were there, were spent going with them to visit different family members and friends living in different cities. In Israel, a lot of people don't have cars because there is an amazing transportation system which is a lot less expensive than owning a car and paying for gas. Being so, while spending my weekends with my grandparents we would take buses to all the places we were going to, some of them being longer bus rides, so my cousin and I would ask our grandfather to tell us any stories he had not told us yet and we would sit there recording and listening to all the stories there were. There would even be times where we would be passing through different places where some of my grandfather's stories took place and he would point them out, which was really cool because we were actually able to see and imagine what he was talking about.