Lessons From My Grandpa

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Yesterday would have been my grandpa’s 101st birthday!
While thinking back on time with him and my grandma I chuckled to myself, got a little teary, and smiled a lot.

My grandfather was a wonderful man. His character was an example to all.
He was a respected man of valor. He served his country, his community, and his family. He was a man of many interests and hobbies. He had a passion for growing things, from his vegetable garden to Camellias and Christmas Cacti to mighty Texas Pecan trees. He was a nurturer, and yet no stranger to tough love when it was needed. He was a great Dominos player, and a graceful loser when it came to playing Skipbo against me and Grandma.

During my reflecting I thought of the many lessons my grandfather taught me…not necessarily sat me down and taught me types of lessons (though there were some of those), these were more lessons he taught me simply by how he lived his life.

  • Always unplug something by the plug…never yank the cord.
    Now for the record, I have never done this; but I got a lecture about it from him when I was around eight or nine, and I will never yank a electric cord. I don’t know why, but this is the first life lesson I think of when I think of learning from my family members.

  • Always dress well.
    Don’t go to the grocery store in a ballgown but present yourself well. It is better to be over dressed than under dressed.

  • Always be willing to help others.
    If you see someone in need, lend your helping hand, skills, tools, etc.
    Simple as that.

  • Always dream and be eager to learn and/or prepare for your dreams.
    He was a very practical man. He would probably never have claimed to be a dreamer. He worked hard for his family. But he also set goals for himself. He learned to speak German from books in hopes of being able to visit Germany, where his ancestors once lived.

  • Always keep in mind: if you care enough to own it, care enough to take care of it.
    You wanted that car, house, boat, pet, or expensive electronic? Be sure you wash it, wax it, change the oil, combat or replace wood rot, feed it, pet it, play with it, don’t drop it… You get the idea, right?

  • Always show your love – don’t just talk about it.
    This doesn’t necessarily mean buying gifts – though thoughtful gifts are a great way to show you pay attention, that you care, and that you love someone. Dry the dishes. Wash the cars. Cut some flowers for the table. Send a card. Do the little things – they can end up meaning a lot.

  • Always give thanks.
    Even when his health was failing, he always appreciated my grandma and everything she did for him…even when she fussed.

My grandfather was an extraordinary man, one whose example I am proud to have and eager to follow.
I hope that my future husband has similar faith, drive, and integrity.

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