I have been extremely lucky to have had grandparents so present throughout my life. A couple weeks ago, I lost my last grandparent and biggest fan, my grandpa.
We had an extremely special bond. We both shared a passion for many of the same things such as music, sports, leadership camps, coaching, teaching, and the list continues. When I look at my childhood, I see him and my grandmother there every step of the way. They were there at every birthday, Christmas, family occasion, school event and big moment in my life. They were SO supportive, no matter where they lived.
When my grandmother passed, my grandfather made sure that he was still always at every important event. It always meant so much to have him there, and if he wasn’t well enough to go, I would tell him all about it afterwards. For all of the grandchildren he was always our number one fan. I was so proud to introduce him to all the important people in my life and call him my grandfather.
He taught me so much about life. He taught me how to fish, drive a boat, build a fire, how to play music, how dance the box step, how to play checkers, how to see the world from a bigger perspective, how to be a good friend, how to be a good leader and stand up for what’s right, how to be strong and gentle at the same time and how to live life to the max. This man was so caring towards everyone, generous and kind. He was strong but had a gentle heart and soft spot for his grandchildren. He was an extremely proud and driven man and accomplished so much in his full life. I hope that when I look back at my life I will have done and experienced as much as him.
I am grateful for the moments in my life that he has been apart of. The part that makes me sad, is that he won’t be there for so many life moments ahead. I have a flag that many people have already signed, or will sign, that I will be taking to Italy with me. The last day that my grandfather was conscious, he signed my flag. It meant so much to me because even though he’s gone, he will still be watching me compete in Italy.
I am going to miss him so much and will think about him and my grandma for the rest of my life through all life’s ups and downs and know that they are looking over me.