I believe in living a life so productive that even when you die the memory of you will live on.
I never met my grandfather because my father was in the military, and my family was stationed in Germany two months after my birth. When I was 4 years old, we were getting ready to move to the States and I was so excited! My mom told me about her daddy of whom I had never met, and how great he was. She told me fun stories about when she was growing up and the places that her daddy took her. She told me about how happy he was that I was born and that he wanted to meet me so badly and how much he loved me even though we had never met. I was so excited, anxious, and nervous because I knew that in one week I would be meeting this wonderful man who loved me.
Two nights before the day of our departure, the phone rang. To this day I can remember the terror on my mother’s face as she trembled while listening on the phone. It was a very serious call; it was her mother calling to tell her that her father had passed away in a boat accident and that there was investigation going on because of the way it happened. I heard her say that she couldn’t believe her daddy was gone, and I heard her ask why anyone would want him gone, but I thought maybe he had moved somewhere.
Two days later we arrived in Virginia and although my mother hadn’t since mentioned my granddaddy, I was still anxious to meet him! I was so disappointed when we arrived at the airport and I was introduced to lots of beautiful relatives, none of which was my granddaddy.
A few days later was his funeral. That is the day I met my granddaddy. It was a sad morning, but when the family gathered after the funeral to eat together I was amazed at all the things I was hearing. People talked about the great things he had accomplished, the lives he’d touched, and the difference he had made in his community. I learned that my grandfather was a minister, a singer, a barber, and a father figure to children that were not even his own. My grandfather was a member of a well known quartet and he helped many other young gospel singers get their careers started. That is when I felt I got to know who my grandfather was.
I had to learn about death at an earlier age than most people. I did not understand it at first but I learned early just how important it is to live a good life so that your spirit can carry on and leave your family and friends with good memories of you to fill the void. I believe in living a life that is so productive that even when you die your memory will live on.
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