Going for your dreams
I spent the weekend alone in Arizona. I was attending my grandfather’s funeral, which was good because he was an awesome man. He lived to 97 3/4 years old. He told us he was ready to be transferred to his next job on the other side about a week before he left. He never shied away from hard work. And he chose to be my grandfather when he didn’t have to be. So in reality he was a grandfather of choice. He married my grandmother when my mom was 18. And then he was there. He sang to us, he planted a massive lawn, hung a tire swing, made a fire pit, built a dock, and laughed at our stupid jokes. He was in no way related to me but he was my grandfather. I claim him. he claimed me. He was the man who loved me when no one else could.
What he taught me through his life is that you should always shoot high. Go for it. Take the chance and it might just happen if you put you back into it and push with everything you have.
Love everyone. He adopted us into his family and loved us better than we loved ourselves, sure we were annoying messy kids, but he loved us as if we were not.
Serve. He fought in world war two, he laid almost an acre of lawn for my mother’s wedding, he painted the massive deck his wife loved, he sang when he was tired, and he never stopped taking care of those around him.
The world changes, but stick to your guns. He lived to see the first phones, the first grocery store chains, computer, cars, commuter air planes, and internet. Through all those changes he never changed his integrity.
A wife is worth having. He married 4 times, which is a lot, but he loved the women in his life, as they left him, as they changed, as they grew. Having buried women in his world he might have taken the chance to become jaded, but he was not. He just kept his heart open for love and made himself as ready for it as possible.
So I decided as I looked up at the beautiful Sonoran sky that new years would get trumped. I resolve to love more freely, to serve more quickly, to laugh, and breath, and hope to the sky. And when I wear his flannel shirt, hear his songs in my mind, or remember his embrace, that I will remember he chose to love me and I am worth loving.