Grandparents: Pieces of History

Grandparents are some of the most precious gifts we could ask for. Those of us whose grandparents are still here sometimes forget that we can truly learn so much from them. If you sat down to really talk to them, did you ever wonder how much you could learn about your family, about life, maybe even love?

I just lost my grandfather a few weeks ago. As we said goodbye to Poppy, I realized how fortunate I am that I was able to have this time with him. He taught me so much not just through his many lessons he would tell all of his grandchildren, but through his example. Watching Poppy and how he lived his life has made me realize many things about myself and about others.

Poppy was one of the most passionate people I have ever known. Everything he did, he did it with passion. He was a brilliant musician and sang and played guitar from when he was a little boy until just before he passed. Every time I watched him play, he had nothing but happiness and love in his eyes. Family and music were his life. He got to know all of his children and grandchildren, and we each had a special bond with him.

One of the most important things I have learned from Poppy is that Grandma was his best friend throughout those fifty-four years. I think that sharing a friendship with someone you are going to spend your life with is so important, and my Grandma and Poppy have shown me that.

It feels strange talking about Poppy in the past tense because I feel like he still is here. Someone with a presence like his never really leaves, and anyone who met him seems to have a story about him. He had a big personality and said whatever was on his mind. He was honest, but he was kind. I’ve never really sat down and thought about him before he passed. Looking back I realize that I want to be just like him. I want to be passionate about what I do. I value my family just as he valued his. I will spend my life with someone who I consider my best friend. Poppy has shown me that to truly be happy with your life, you do what you have a passion for and you hold your family close.

Sometimes we take our grandparents for granted. But everyone must realize that no matter what kind of relationship you have with your grandparents, whether you’re as close as my Poppy was with his grandchildren or even if you’re not so close, you can truly learn a great deal from them. They have made all the mistakes we have and will make. They wish they could have done certain things that we still can do. Take their advice. Listen to them. Watch them. Poppy truly touched my life and everyone he met. I learned everything I needed to learn from him. You never know when they can be taken from you. And when they are, don’t look back and wish you could have learned more.

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