Just a few hours after writing my last post, I experienced something first hand that bigger than us: death. Even when you expected it, no one really ever expects death; it feels like a sudden rush of cold air in your lungs or a knife through your chest – there is no getting around these feelings. In all this pain, you have to remember. Remember the life of the person, remember all the good times, remember how they made you who you are today, and remember what they have taught you.
My grandfather was a great athlete. In the wake of his death, there have been many articles praising his career in baseball. It is well deserved; he spent many years playing, managing and watching the sport. And best of all, he loved the game as much as the game loved him. I have to remember what he taught me about the game: how to throw a curve ball, how to stay in front of the ball, and how to clear the field of rocks to reduce your errors. He taught me a lot about the game and I still adhere to it this day, but what he taught me about life and love is what I take to heart.
My grandfather’s life is the epitome of love and family. He and my grandmother had the kind of love you hear in fairy tales; it was an epic love. They fell in love when my grandmother was 13 and this love endured for the rest of their lives – and I’m sure, beyond. After being married for 74 years, I swear he looked at my grandma like he was seeing his love for the first time. In letters he wrote while on the road, he wrote praises of his wife, sentiments of love, and longings to be reunited with his family.
Once, I asked my grandfather to sign his name on a baseball for me, he signed it, G-daddy. Yes, he was a great ball player, but first and foremost he was a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a great-grandfather, and a friend. He would do anything for his family. When his girls were young, he would sit there while they painted his nails and curled his hair. Like I said, he would do anything just to be with them and make them happy. This goes for any of my family, he would do anything and everything. His family meant the world to him and he meant the world to us.
His love spread not only throughout our family, but also into the lives of everyone he met. My grandfather and grandmother, have taught me a lot of things, but above all, they taught me the most important things in life are love and family. These are two things, that I for one, will never take for granted. I am very blessed to have him in my life for so many years.