Note To Self: Live Like Grandpa Did
I spend a lot of time each day reflecting on all of the things I’m thankful for, what I’d like to do to be a better person and even what my goals are as I move forward with life; but nothing keeps me stuck in deep thought more than remembering that my Grandpa Nolan is no longer alive. I know that sounds a bit strange, but I truly will glide through a day thinking it was like the first 28 years of my life, but it isn’t…my idol is gone.
As much as it hurts to know that he is not here, I really try to look back at his life and take notes of all the wonderful things he did and how he lived his life. Grandpa was the epitome of a loving father and grandfather, which I have stated in another post, but I want to point out some specific things that he did that truly inspire me to become a man like him. So in similar fashion to some of my other posts, I want to make a list of things that Grandpa did for us that made him the greatest.
He Sang Us ALL “Happy Birthday”
Grandpa would call all of his kids and grandchildren on their birthdays and sing “Happy Birthday”. If he happened to miss you, he would sing it on your voicemail for safe measure. This simple thing caught us off guard at times, but I know it meant so much to me as I assume it did to the rest of my family. This unique way of wishing us individually “happy birthday” was just one of the ways he made us smile.
He Was Present
Grandpa always stopped by his kid’s houses and made his presence felt. He asked questions with the intent of listening and getting to know what was going on in his loved one’s lives. He just made it a point to be at the important things in our lives, if it was possible. I never felt like I wasn’t a priority in his life, and if you know anything about my family it is rather large. He just had a way of showing us all that we were important in our own ways.
He Never Stopped Learning
Grandpa was the most intelligent man I knew and part of that was because he never stopped learning. You could always find him reading and keeping himself aware of the world around him. Also, he was an active chiropractor for 50 years of his life. In this career, his goal was to help people and I know that he did that every day. He was the best because it was his passion and something he never stopped getting better at. Many people in the Marceline area can attest to how much help he was for their overall comfort and quality of life.
I took pride in my grandpa’s profession and the way he went about it. He taught me from a young age that education and learning are valuable aspects to life. After he retired, he still gave adjustments to family members, their dogs, or anyone who truly needed his help. My back is throbbing knowing that I will never be able to have another adjustment from him.
He Enjoyed Traveling
The word “enjoy” is an understatement for how much my grandpa loved traveling. After my wonderful grandma passed away in 1998, grandpa took to traveling as a way to spend his time. Before grandma passed away, grandpa spent his time with her, but without her around he had to find a new love — jazz music.
Man, grandpa loved his jazz. He traveled all over the place to see jazz artists and just enjoy the area. I often took travel suggestions from him and I loved listening to his stories. He inspired me to be curious and strive to go places I have never been before.
Eventually grandpa found his traveling companion and dear friend, Maria. These two were as happy together as they come. Thank God for Maria and her way of keeping my grandpa young and energized through their travels.
He Was Who He Was, Without Apology
My grandpa was his own man and didn’t seem to care one bit if he did not fit into the “mold”. He had strong opinions and knew who he was and was not going to change that just to please people. I think that is what helped him be the successful man that he was and I am thankful I got to see that a person does not have to be like everybody else just because it seems popular. Ultimately, he taught me to be myself and not to apologize for it.
HE PUT FAMILY FIRST
Grandpa was a rich man, his wealth was not monetary…no his, riches came in the size of his family and our love for him. I think I’ve made it clear that grandpa cared abundantly for all of his family, but something I need to point out is how much we ALL loved him. From his youngest great-grandchild to his oldest child, we all cared so much for him. He brought our lives so much joy and I am proud to be in a family that made sure he knew that we couldn’t be where we are without him and grandma’s love. Thank you grandpa for always putting us first.
I hope you can continue to see everything you’ve done for us. I love you Grandpa Nolan and there will never be a day where I forget what you’ve done for me.