Friday, 6 July 2012

Lessons Learned from Granpa

Without a shadow of a doubt, my grandfather is the single most influential person in my life. He was more than just my grandfather. He was my father figure, my mentor, my protection, and I'm proud to say, my friend.

·         Have faith, live a faith-filled life, and know God will take care of the details.

My grandpa was married to his sweetheart for so many years!  He was devoted to her, cared for her, protected her, and was her best friend, soul mate, and truly her knight in shining armor.  She was his caretaker, his confidant, his rock.  The love they shared taught me lesson #2:

·         Believe in true, forever, my heart belongs to you, love.
Anyone who lives close to nine decades is going to be hurt and disappointed at times by those he loves.  In fact, anyone who lives at all will experience this human condition.  How to deal with hurt and disappointment is the next lesson:3
·         Forgive others for pain they caused you.
My grandpa had  three children, a multitude of grandchildren, and a handful of great grandchildren.  Us decedents didn’t always make the best choices, at least not choices my grandpa would have made for themselves.  He flat out blatantly disagreed with some of the choices I made, which brings us to lesson #4:
·         Live a life of acceptance of others for who they are and for the choices they make.
You can still love the person even though you may not love the choice that person has made.  And let that person know you love and accept them. My grandpa worked, and worked hard, for literally all his life.  When he “retired,” he worked on his home. His was an avid sport lover, from boxing, cricket to soccer, his team favourite team Moroka Swallows.  He would often have one game on  television while listening to another on his radio and he could tell you what was going on in both games.
Hence my love for soccer, although I fell in love with Orlando Pirates  My grandpa work ethics taught me lesson #5:
·         Work hard, expect much from yourself, and give much back.
My grandpa used to traveled with my gran to many places and experienced much in their years together.  They loved to travel, to experience, to relax, to take a break from all that hard work they did.  Lesson #6:
·         Travel, relax, experience, take a break to enjoy the beauty of what this life has to offer.
My grandparents lived in the same house for over 50 years.  It served them well.  It’s a nice house, well-built, provided them and their children warmth from the cold, a hearth in which to gather around, a place to call home.  Lesson #7:
·         Be content with what you have and be humbled when God gives you more.
They had a great life together.  They had great pain together.  They grieved their losses, thanked God for their blessings, and lived life to the fullest.  Lesson #8:
·         Pain will heal.  With time and faith, contentment will come.  Life will be good again.
My grandparents had worked for decades at various companies, had many close friends, were deeply adored by their family, fell in love, stayed in love, lived in the same house for forever…all because of something I’ll call lesson #9:
·         Commitment and passion.  Webster’s definition of commitment could very well just say, “Jabu’s Grandparents.”  Be committed to all you do, give it your best shot, go for it with heartfelt passion, and energy, and love.
My grandpa was the sweetest man in the world.  I am forever grateful for his influence on my life, for the way he lived his life, for his examples, and for the life lessons his taught me.  Lesson #10:
·         Be appreciative, show appreciation, tell others that you appreciate them and love them. (Before they die, today in fact!)
I lost my grandpa in 2010 and it still feels like yesterday when I saw him last.  My grandfather was a happy, strict friendly man.  He and my gran were responsible for raising me and two brothers.  He taught us so many values and showed us love every day. 
Although we were adults when he passed, it didn't make the pain and hurt of losing him any less and we talk about him, think about him and miss him everyday.  But I believe in my heart that he can see me from Heaven. 
Although I had wished for him to be here to teach the same teachings to my children!!!