I know what you’re going to say, how could you get inspiration from your grandfather? What? Did he inspire you on how to wear ties and suspenders? No, silly! My grandfather has always had a strong influence on me, on the choices I make and the way I act.
What do I remember about my grandfather? Pardon my language, but he was the shit. He had a sense of humor like no other, and he was constantly teasing us and making us laugh. One of my favorites? Whenever you’d ask him how old he was, he’d respond, “16.” Didn’t bat an eye, not even a hint of a smile, just answered matter of factly (I’ve learned a few tricks from him when dealing with kids…) Here’s my grandpa when he was actually a lot closer to 16…
Looking back at older pictures, he really knew how to dress like a man should.
He became a military policeman during WWII and was stationed in Hawaii and went from suits and ties to a military uniform.
After the war, he married my grandmother and had my dad and aunt. Even back then when he was relaxing at home, he always wore a white shirt and black slacks, no jeans for grandpa. Here he is with my dada and aunt – I love how happy they all look.
But how do I best remember him? As the best grandfather ever. As someone who loved being with us all. As someone who took us to the beach, to the duck pond, down to the train station. One time we were sitting at the dinner table, and I noticed that he always mopped up the gravy on his plate with some Italian bread. After watching him do this a few times, I wanted to do it, too. (Remember, my grandpa was the shit.) So I started doing it, too. I remember him looking over at me and then looking at my father with this big smile on his face. He pointed to me and said, “This one’s Italian.” Me, being the little brown-noser I was, nearly burst with pride. I always wanted him to be proud of me.
I loved him so much. I used to sit in his chair with him, and we’d just rock back and forth until I eventually nodded off. Being in his house has always been my favorite place to be. Grandpa always made us all feel so safe and happy.
So maybe I don’t rock the white shirt and black pants all the time like grandpa or even whip out some rockin’ suspenders. But what I did learn from him was how to have a sense of humor about EVERYTHING and how to act to make your family proud. He died quite a few years ago, but to this day, I act in a way to make him and my family proud, and I think of him as a guardian looking out for me just like he used to.
Have a great Sunday everyone, and remember, inspiration can come from anywhere!