So when I decided to start writing occasional posts about the things that I love, of course this is the first one that came to mind. I mean seriously, check him out. How could you not love that magnificently adorable man? This picture is of him on the day I graduated from Seattle University with my Masters degree. He was “so proud he could just bust” as he has stated to me many, many times. I bought him that bowtie because I knew it would up his adorable factor by about a thousand.
But let’s really talk about G-pa. This man has been doing nothing but giving since I was born, and since he was born as well I would imagine. This is the man that inspires me to be the best possible human I can be, because being anything less would make me feel unworthy of his endless pride that he has for me. He has sacrificed his own situation and finances countless times in order to help the ones that he loves. While making sure that I’m happy, warm, well fed and have a car with good tires on it, he is hanging out watching MASH by himself in his one-bedroom apartment in his slippers from the thrift store. I try to get him to move in with me all the time, but he’s not having it. If I ever try to pay for breakfast, it nearly turns into a public brawl. If it weren’t for him, I literally would not be where I am today. He has enabled my education, my travels, my transportation, my growth, my emotions, my soul-search. He has inspired my personality, my values, my direction in life, and my perception of other humans. He became my standard for men, and my confidence that good ones do exist. He is one of the main reasons that I hesitated when making the decision to join Peace Corps, because being away from him causes me pain, and the thought of losing him and not being able to make it back in time makes want to… well, I can’t really find the words for that kind of heartache. But I accepted that such a horrifying thing could happen even if I was only next door, and made sure to tell him in printed detail about my love and appreciation for him before I left the country. He would have kicked my ass if I were to stay because of him, anyway.
Here is a small excerpt from what I wrote him: I talk to God everyday, and there is a special place in my mind that I reserve for my most passionate prayers, the ones in which I am screaming my gratitude for the incredibly abundant, full and beautiful life that I have been so blessed to live and the people I have with me. In particular, I am basking in thanks for you, Grampa. Without you and your endless multi-faceted support system, your encouragement, your selflessness, your generosity, your beautiful heart and soul, continued sacrifices, positivity, worry, optimism and listening, I would not be where I am today. You make me proud to be who I am because you tell me you are so proud of who I am. Seeing the sparkle of excitement and joy in your eyes every time I come home to Libby makes me want to run back out into the world and work even harder at being the best possible human I can be and do as much good in the world as I possibly can. And to quote another favorite man of mine (Dave Matthews of course), “I love you oh so well, like a kid loves candy and fresh snow – I love you oh so well, enough to fill heaven, overflow and fill hell”
So yeah. It wouldn’t make sense for me to start writing about all the things I love about life without first addressing the main reason that my life is what it is in the first place. Gpa, my little Norwegian blessing. Thank you for always being on the other end of the phone, for choosing to love me, for believing in me, and just for being. No container could ever hold the amount of love. Ever.
I love life.