I read a post that Jules wrote this week that said thank you to the people she was grateful for and it inspired me to do the same. There is something to be said about giving thanks to the people who make you and shape you, and although I give you some information on who made me me on ‘The Cast’ page, I sometimes need to take the time to talk about the people I need to give thanks to.
I think sometimes about how time flies and how I suddenly find myself at twenty five, still not having a clue what I’m doing, but ageing all the same. And as my life dances by like it’s on fast forward, so do the lives of the people around me which often causes me concern. As I reach thirty my grandparents will be reaching eighty, and the thought flits through my mind more and more regularly that they aren’t as robust as they used to be, and they won’t live forever. But this post isn’t supposed to be miserable or maudlin, but more to celebrate one of the most influential people in my life, and give me a chance to say thank you to someone that is quite possibly not aware of the impact he has had on my life.
“Grandparents make the world…a little softer, a little kinder, a little warmer.” Unknown
As a little girl, my paternal grandfather used to rub me up the wrong way all the time. To a volatile teenager he was the most irritating person I knew, commenting on whether I had put on weight, or why I didn’t have a boyfriend, or just generally being full of glee as he wound me up. I was pretty tightly coiled, and one little thing could send me off in a huff. I remember one Christmas him making some comment designed to annoy and me flouncing off in a huff, slamming the lounge room door. The problem was that I have never been the most elegant, and I got the long string of my cardigan caught in the door, so ruined my dramatic exit somewhat by having to open said door, extract cardi and slouch off to my room.
“If wrinkles must be written upon our brow, let them not be written upon the heart; the spirit should never grow old.”James Garfield
But as I grow, I find him more and more fascinating and he has become one of the strongest male figures in my life. My Daddy is there on a day to day basis to impart his wisdom and even just listen if I need someone level headed, but I often find myself thinking about the advice my grandfather would give me should I ask him.
My grandfather is the cleverest person I know. He designed his own website at the ripe old age of seventy-ish (something that most twenty somethings would have an issue with) and when my sister had an issue with her maths he made her an excel spread sheet that would calculate all the problems for her, making her life a lot easier. He is fluent in a few languages and recently taught himself Portuguese to GCSE, just because he wanted to. His capacity to learn astounds me and he always has a twinkle in his eye when he tells a story (mainly because he doesn’t let the truth get in the way of a good tale, although we have now figured out his ‘tell’: he rubs his hands together when lying). He has traced both his and my grandmother’s family trees back for generations, and he is the best cook that I know. If it wasn’t for his staunch belief in me and my ability I may not have pursued half of my dreams; he has always given me self-confidence and the ability to be able to reach for the stars. He would do anything for his four granddaughters, and he truly is one of the most interesting people I know.
So Granddad, it might not be your birthday, or a special day, but I want to say thank you for everything you have encouraged me to be.