If you've ever held a conversation with me, I have probably mentioned my grandfather at least once. It's no secret that he's my favorite person. I've learned so much from his life lessons, stories, and countless vacations. I can only hope that everybody has a grandfather as great as mine. Here's everything my grandfather has taught me, so far:
1. Life is complicated and hard and rarely fair, so make the best of it.
My grandfather has reminded me on countless occasions that life is not always going to be easy. Life will hurt me, push me over, and kick me when I'm down. But because of him, I know that what I make of the sunshine-filled good days will determine the outcome of my life.
2. Hard work will always pay off.
At a very young age, my grandfather taught me that developing a strong work ethic is very important. I use to spend countless mornings going to work with my papa. He would take me to the fire and police department and put me to work. My favorite parts were always washing the firetrucks and seeing the behind-the-scenes action.
3. Vacation is always the answer.
Some of my favorite memories are in my grandfather's car, with the top down and cruising in the sunny weather with my grandparents, escaping our problems. I love that I've had the opportunity to explore new places and cuisines with him. He's always down for a vacation and he never needs an explanation.
4. Never forget how special you are.
My grandfather spends a majority of our time together letting me know how special I am. He reminds me every chance he gets that what makes me different is what makes me special and to never change that. For myself or anyone else.
5. Accomplishing your dreams are your number one priority.
My whole life my grandfather has told how important following my dreams are. He has stuck by side and believed in me through the countless career and dream changes. When I didn't believe in myself, my grandfather was there to pick me up and remind me of who I am. He use to say, "You're a Grady. That's something to be proud of." When I graduate college, he will be there to cheer me on, as he's done on other countless occasions, as I embark on my career and the rest of my life.
6. You're beautiful.
From commenting on my Facebook pictures to just calling and letting me know, he always reminds that I am beautiful inside and out. Without my grandfather's constant reminder, I wouldn't confident, strong, and independent women I am today.
I just wanted to thank you. Thank you for always loving me and supporting me. Thank you for always having my back and understanding me. Thank you for taking me to Florida and getting Thai with me, whenever I need it. Thank you for just being you. I love you, old man. He and I have been best friends since day one. He's always been my go-to person and my favorite person in the world. He is the main male figure in my life, the first male to love me, the first to teach me how to love, and how I should be treated. Even though I will be living hours away from him next year, he is still my best friend and when I visit him it will be like nothing changed. So this one is for him. Thank you to the most amazing grandfather and man I have ever met. I love you more than words can say and you will continue to be my person