This I Believe

Ken - Nashua, New Hampshire
Entered on March 7, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family

I’ll never forget what he said. It changed my life…

I did a terrible job and I knew it. My Grandfather stood there and looked down at me, his barrel-chested frame blotting out the sun, all at once providing shade from the summer sun and intense heat from his glare. I cowered, hedge clippers in hand, my 7 year old innards slowly dissolving as I waited for his words.

“Ken, do the job right or don’t do it at all.”

His voice was measured, calm, but still it thundered through my head like a hammer – a hammer that molded me for the rest of my life.

The intense feelings of disappointment never left me and even as I sit here, wearing his ring, writing this piece with tears in my eyes, I can picture that day, relive the day, as if it was yesterday. Yesterday was 36 years ago and to this day I live those words he spoke and I work hard. Some might shrink, other see them as a challenge. For me they were a lesson that become a belief….a mantra…a guide…an inner voice.

What I wouldn’t give to sit on his lap again and feel the comfort of his presence. Never in my life did I ever feel so safe as when I was in his company. Never will I lose the desire to have him see me succeed. I carry him with me every day, his gold ring permanently fixed to finger, and wonder what he would think if he could see me today….