This I Believe

Andrew - Arlington, Virginia
Entered on September 20, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, legacy

This I Believe

I believe that we stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us. All that I have learned and all that I have done is a result of the support and teachings of my family and teachers. I have a good relationship with my grandfather, Zaddy. Zaddy and I have had many long conversations about life. As my grandfather neared the end of his life he wrote down and talked to me about what he learned in his life. We talked about everything from the future to children being copies of the family members who came before them. I always remember taking the train from Union Station in Washington D.C. to Baltimore Penn Station. My grandfather would always know where I’d be and right as I stepped from the train to Platform Number 7, he would be there ready for his long awaited hug and the time that we would spend together.

Zaddy and I would talk in three places. In his 94’ Chrysler Convertible Sebring, the office Lazyboy which I would often fall asleep in, and outside Moo, the local Ice-cream parlor, which we would visit for milkshakes after a long days work around the house. A reoccurring subject was, to get ahead in life you have to provide something that the competition can’t. “In my career as a dentist,” he would always start out, “I always got to know my patients.” Even-though the way Zaddy told it was always different, the moral was the same, and he instilled that belief in me. I learned a lot from the stories he told and the lessons he would preach. He even taught me how to do work around the house like his father had taught him. No one, to this day was able to affect me in the way he did.

We were both sad when the time came for us to part. Zaddy would always escort me back to the platform like an armed guard, ready pounce on anything that came toward us. In our final moments together he would give me one more speech, tell me to keep my head up and he would hide the fear that we might never see each other again. As the loudspeaker gave the final call for 161 Regional Service to Washington Union Station, he gave me one last hug, and as I stepped from Platform Number 7 to the 161 Regional Service train to Washington Union Station Zaddy whispered goodbye and cried one final tear.

I was always sad to go and I find that I am frequently scared and lost without his guidance. But as I grow old and become the leader of my family I will preach the words of my grandfather and tell his stories to my son and my grandson as he had once done with me. Everybody stands on the shoulders of those who have come before them- this I believe.