For Grandpa

Today, is my Grandfather’s birthday. If he’d lived to this year, he would’ve been Eighty Years old!

My Grandfather passed 12 years and I really miss him. He taught me so many things. He helped me to be smarter and helped to see people for what they really are. And I am now, putting those lessons into closer and more effective action.

My parents got a divorce, when I was really young. And we moved in with my Grandparents when my Grandfather got sick. Even I the wheelchair, he still took it upon himself to take on the ‘Father’ role. And he didn’t have to do that. He was already my grandfather and an incredible one at that. He didn’t have to take both roles, especially in his condition. But, he did. And even though my actual father was still alive, I wasn’t close to him. At All. We never had relationship.

My Grandfather didn’t have any sons. He had two daughters. One, from a previous relationship and my Mom, with Grandma. So, I was the closet thing that he had to a son. I was a tomboy and I’d rather play with cars and watch sports, than have tea parties and play with dolls. So, whenever the game was on, I would be in his room, which doubled as a den. Football, Basketball, Golf, you name it, it had our attention. This was a fun activity for us and grew up, in that room. I learned so many life lessons in that room.

Grandpa played sports when he was younger. He played Football, Basketball and  Baseball. As a matter of fact, he was so good at Football, that he had the opportunity to go pro! But, he said that he didn’t want to leave my Grandmother! Wow! What a Romantic thing to do. But, my mother had other ideas. Jokingly, Mom told him, upon learning this, “You mean to say that you could’ve been rich and you didn’t take the it because you wanted to stay here with Mother? And he simply replied, ‘Yes’. Mom said, you could’ve taken her with you! Instead, I’m here working so hard to take care of all four of us. “You Owe me Money!” We all laughed at her, but, by the look on her face, she really wasn’t kidding!

His former teammates and best buddies, would come over and talk with him. But, before they’d arrive, they’d let him know they were coming. And when I heard about it, I would ask him, if I could stay in the room and listen in. I found their conversations fascinating and I knew that I could learn a lot from those men. I would always be happy when he said  yes. But, he’d always give me a warning. “You can stay in the room, but, if we start talking about something that we don’t want you to hear, then I’ll tell you to leave.” Then, the session began. The talking, the laughter, the advice, it was  like a course of study that no school anywhere could offer.

Once, one of his friends called me into the room and he said that he had some advice for me. So, I stood there and I listened to him. he told, “When we were young men, we did what we were supposed to do. We played sports, got our education and then, we focused more on the opposite Sex. So, I give that same advice to you, young lady. Stay focus, do what you’re supposed to do, get your education and then and only then, should you focus on the Opposite Sex.”

Now mind you, I was only about eight or nine at the time. I wasn’t even thinking about boys. Nor did I really know what Opposite sex mean. So, I was like, ‘Yes Sir.’ But, I didn’t really understand until later.

I appreciate their advice and love them for it. And I appreciate and love my Grandfather so much. He did so much for me and I am so grateful to him for everything! I love you Grandpa!!!

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