Today I was thinking about how I want to live my life, how I want to show up in the world. I have been super stressed, serious and intense this past month – in my head, worried about the future, yada yada – and decided I don’t want to show up that way anymore. With veterans day around the corner, I started thinking about my Grandpa and remembered writing this the week he passed away…
In honor of one of the happiest men I’ve ever known: Grandpa Sam.
Grandpa was always smiling, always laughing, always telling jokes. He was honest, kind, caring and real. He was a true and pure example of what it is to be of service in this world. He served as a medic in the Navy in WWII and brought light to so many in a time of darkness, achieving the highest in morale ratings. He lived to help others, and I know that’s what kept him alive the last 5-10 years of his life. He beat every single odd. Who has heart failure, is overweight, can’t breath and is in and out of hospital, but still manages to show up to hang out with his grand kids at 10pm 45 min. away from home, goes to Windsor at 5am for karaoke, spends all of this time driving from location to location helping friends out on the job? Grandpa Sam. He was the guy that if you needed something he was there, he didn’t ask questions, he didn’t judge, he didn’t ask for anything in return/for himself – we would have to force him to do that. He would give his last dime, the clothes off his back, his every moment of every day to anybody that needed it at any point, any time, no questions asked. He is such an inspiration to me, because unlike him I find it very easy to be selfish – to wonder: if I do this, what will I get in return? if I give someone an hour of my time, what am I going to get out of it? how am I going to be compensated? what’s in it for me?
Grandpa may not have been the wealthiest guy financially, but he was happy. He didn’t have a lot as far as worldly possessions go, and what he had he didn’t really give a shit about… it wasn’t important. The things that were the most important to him were the pictures of his family, his pride and joy, and the things that connected him with others. He didn’t care about the “stuff” (besides maybe the dvds/VHS tapes he collected 🙂 ) – “stuff” didn’t bring him joy, it didn’t bring him happiness. Rather, he showed up every day and asked “how can I serve?” “how can I help?” “what can I do for you today?” and somehow, someway he was always provided for… it wasn’t as though he ever went homeless. In truth, he probably would have if he didn’t have family keeping him in check, and in the end he could have used some more balance in his life and a little (or a lot) more self-care…there is always room to grow 🙂 Grandpa gave and gave and gave, until his last breath. It’s what brought him to life, and its what brought so many others life and joy.
Nobody ever went broke from giving – Anne Frank
It is a true honor to have been the granddaughter of such an amazing man, to have had over 29 years to truly get to know him, and to have been taught by him how to live – to soak in every single moment of what this life has to offer and ask: what can I do for you? How can I help you? To open the door for someone, to make somebody laugh, to do what you love and love what you do, to bring others pleasure and joy – that is the greatest gift in this world. Life goes by fast, and if we spend the whole time focusing on what we’re going to get out of it, on our careers, on attaining things, then we’re going to spend our whole life being fucking miserable. What happens when the job doesn’t work out? When the car gets a dent in it? What happens when those things fall apart? What do you have left? Do you have anything at all? What’s way more important than any of that stuff is love, laughter, family, community, connection – that’s all that any of us truly ever need. So today show up with a smile, with a whole lot of gratitude and remember that nothing is as important as the gift that we give with our presence.
We are able to “get” only what we are willing to give. – Kurtz & Ketcham