March 11 will mark the three year anniversary of my Grandpa's death. These three years have passed by quickly, but every time the month of March comes around, I feel like time just freezes. I find myself stuck thinking of all the things my Grandpa will miss and how much I wish he were here to see who I am today instead of the annoying high schooler I was. But wishing won't change the fact that he is gone, so I have to keep looking ahead while carrying him with me for the rest of my life. So this March, I have decided to remember the good things instead of focusing on what I wish he could be here to see. And one of the good things is everything he taught me.
1. Always eat the extra cookie
In my grandparents' house, there was a large glass cake stand with a heavy glass lid that my Grandma could hear no matter where she was in the house despite her awful hearing. Well, the glass cake stand always had cookies in it. When my cousins were younger, it was freshly baked cookies, but as long as I can remember, it was cookies in a plastic container from a grocery store. My Grandpa had a sweet tooth and diabetes, which wasn't the best combination, but nothing stopped him from sneaking an extra cookie (except for my Grandma nagging him). So I used to sneak the extra cookie for him. Maybe it wasn't the healthiest habit, but it taught me to treat myself to the extra cookie.
2. Save your money
Okay, so this doesn't really help the stereotype that Jews like to save their money and spend it wisely, but it's a valuable life lesson. My Grandpa was a big advocate for saving money and using it on useful and necessary things. Thanks to him, and my parents, I learned the lesson of the dollar and about what is valuable to me.
3. Be the best dressed
No matter where my Grandpa was, he was always in a button-down shirt with slacks and suspenders and his beloved New Balance shoes. He never wore his pajamas outside of the bedroom and had a love for bolo ties. While I never caught onto the whole no wearing pajamas outside of the bedroom, bolo ties or bowties and suspenders trends he tried to set, he did teach me the importance of looking your best.
4. Take care of your loved ones
There was no one in the world my Grandpa loved more than my Grandma and their love story was one for the books. When he was dying and in-between states of lucidity and confusion, he was adamant about making sure my Grandma, his beloved wife of sixty years, would have the best possible care when he was gone. I sincerely believe that he waited to go until he was sure she would be taken care of until her last breath. My Grandpa taught me to take care of those I hold close in my heart and fight for them no matter what.
5. Love someone much
This is the most important lesson my Grandpa taught me. He taught me to love someone much, and no I did not leave the word "so" out accidentally. My Grandpa wasn't always the most outwardly affectionate person in the world, but whenever I talked to him on the phone or saw him in person, he always told me that he loved me much. And let me just say, there is no better feeling in the world than knowing he loved me much.