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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Lessons of Hope

As I think about life and especially life after Grandpa’s death, I feel hopeful. I have changed from the person I once was who did not believe that life was grand or even had an ounce of hope. I took my grandfather for granted much of my life and it was only at the end did I realize the real meaning of life. His words from a 1943 war diary represent to me a symbol of hope and courage. He writes about the American dream in his future with patience and hope that his life will be fulfilled.

On his last dying days, my grandfather turned to me and said “you are missing out on the real meaning of life. Life is about loving unconditionally those around you, without rules or limits, and making sure you tell them you love them because sometimes people don’t always know. Real love is not about having a husband and children. It is about loving yourself first and building on the power of all the relationships you cultivate. It’s about being hopeful, patient, humble and above all forgiving."

These words ring true to me every day that I try and focus on being a better friend, co-worker, daughter, and sister. I might not have the traditional family or the love of a spouse but I have learned to love myself first and be hopeful by the words on a dusty, page from a war hero in 1943. My grandfather’s voice lingers in my head with an overwhelming feeling of hope that breaths though me on this day and every day. For that, I say thank you and I am so proud of you Grandpa!

For more information on my book, The Only Father I’ve Ever Known: How My Grandfather's Love Taught Me Life, a memoir about the bond between a granddaughter and a grandfather, email me at