To Grandpa, The Biggest Fighter There Was

To Grandpa, The Biggest Fighter There Was

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all" - Helen Keller
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Take a moment to think about your grandpa, whether he is still alive or has passed, I hope that he had some significant imprint on you. In honor of my grandpa's birthday this past week I figured it is only necessary to share what a great and honorable man he was.

His name was Marshal Martin, but he liked to be called Mickey and to me, he was Papa Mickey. He was born on November 18, 1932, in Los Angeles, CA. His life wasn't perfect and later in my life, I had learned of some of the tragedies that got him to be the amazing man he was.

He had a brother who was in a head-on collision on the way home from prom, which then left him to be an only child.

Unfortunately, six months later, his father passed away.

He later married my beautiful grandmother, and they made sure to fulfill their dreams of traveling just about everywhere you could think of.

They did it all.

My grandpa was many things, but the biggest thing was that he was a fighter and a survivor.

When my grandpa was 66 years old he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which is a chronic and progressive movement disorder. With age, this disease only got worse and lasted until he passed away, which resulted in him being sick with it for 15 years total.

Then, at the age of 77 years old, he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He had radiation treatments which did help, however, his cancer came back a year later.

When he became very sick they took their last trip to their favorite place, the Hawaiian Islands. His dream was to travel all over the world, and he sure did conquer that.

Even though he got sick, he didn’t let anything stop him from doing what he wanted.

The doctors told him he only had about one year left to live, yet he fought for about three more to the day of April 15, 2013.

He was one of the longest survivors in California with that specific type of cancer.

Throughout his sickness, there was not a single day that he complained, instead he lived life day by day like everyone else and tried to enjoy it.

He was a fighter.

The most important thing I learned from him while he was sick was how important it is to not let anything get in the way of living your life. He was always so happy and never complained.

Even when he felt horrible, he was a trooper.

As much as I wished he could have lived longer to watch me get married someday and have kids, I will always be able to cherish the memories I made with him as well as all the lessons he taught me in life.

Cover Image Credit: Alexandra Lee

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A Thank You To My Boyfriend's Family

Because you are so important to him, you are important to me.
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This one isn't easy to sit down and write because nothing I could say would do all of you justice in the way that I would hope I could. These are just words, but I hope that I am able to always show my thank you to you by treating him like the prince he is.

I can replay the moment of meeting each and every one of you all over and over in my head like it was yesterday. I was so extremely nervous every single time and I was trying to gather all the "right" things to say that would leave a good, first-lasting impression and that at the end of the day, you all would like me.

I think one of the most important basis and hopes in my relationship is that my significant other's family likes who I am. This is so important to me because whatever is important to him is equally important to me and your thoughts of me are crucial to our relationship.

The second I walked in the door, I was overwhelmed—overwhelmed with such a love. I had no idea at that point in time just how much you would all mean to me and how thankful I am for all of you!

Thank you for constantly making me laugh and feel at home.

Whenever I'm coming over for a family gathering or just to hang out, I know right off that I am walking into a world of laughter and good times are right beside that. You are all so entertaining and always have a good story to tell me. I can't name one time where I didn't feel like I was home.

And I appreciate the sweet, embarrassing photos and stories about my boyfriend that you all share with me! Even if it is by a photo, I have a glimpse of what his life has always been like thanks to each and every one of you individually.

Thank you for sharing your special moments in life with me.

You don't ever have to, but you invite me anyway. Whether it's just a family gathering, a birthday, or a holiday, I am thankful to have spent those times celebrating these moments in life alongside such amazing people. It's humbling and heartwarming to be a part of memories so unforgettable that you all share and that you have welcomed me to be a part of. They are days that I will never forget and have a place in my heart forever.

Thank you for always being there for him.

Since we have started dating, I have watched the way that you guys love him. I have watched the individual relationships and moments that you share with him make a difference in who he is. I have seen you all love and support him, no matter what he was doing.

With everything that comes along in life, this has been a simple reminder of an unconditional, loving, sacrificing family that is also the best support system. You are not only impacting him, but me, too.

Thank you for welcoming me in like your own.

Whenever you have to brave up and meet your significant other's family, I can say, for myself, that I didn't know what to expect. As I'm sure, none of you did when meeting me. Today, I catch myself wondering why I even worried in the first place. You all have welcomed me in your own ways and made me feel right at home. It is not always easy to do that with just anyone, but you have all taken the time to get to know me. And now I know that if I ever needed anything, I can call one of you.

Thank you for letting me date him.

I am most thankful for this. Thank you for sharing him with me and giving me a chance to show you all how important he is to me. I never thought that I would luck out and meet someone as special, kind, and wonderful as he is, but I did.

You have supported our relationship, given me a chance to love him, and welcomed me to new adventures in love and family. I have the upmost gratitude for each of you. You are the most wonderful, welcoming, and loving family. I am overjoyed to be able to experience just a glimpse of this life with him and with all of you.

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9 Reasons Living With Your Grandparents Is Actually The Best Thing Ever

Saw it. Liked it. Told Papa. Got it!

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Blessings in disguise are a real thing. When I was nine my mother died and my father was no longer a part of my life. Thankfully I was blessed with two of the best grandparents on this earth who were willing to adopt me. Life isn't always rainbows and butterflies, but when you live with your grandparents things can never be THAT bad.

1. They love you unconditionally

No matter if you get a failing grade on a test, get a speeding ticket, or raise your voice at them as you stomp off to your room they always forgive you and continue to love you endlessly.

2. They spoil you 24/7

It's no secret that grandparents are your main go to when you need a little extra cash, full access to a filled pantry, or just a little extra tender loving care that you can't get anywhere else.

3. They are always down for a spontaneous road trip

Whether it be a day trip to the beach or mountains or even just a day full of shopping, 99% of the time its a yes from them.

4. You get to be the guinea pig for new recipes

I cant tell you how many recipes I see my grandma sharing on Facebook, but I can tell you its enough to never miss a meal for the rest of my life. Whether it be a crazy new dessert or just a new chicken casserole for dinner, the words "I'm hungry" will rarely ever come out of my mouth.

5. Did I mention you're spoiled rotten

Fortunately, I never had to venture too far to become the spoiled child that I am because I've basically lived with my grandparents my whole life even before they adopted me. I got a brand new Camaro at 14 years old, I get sixty dollars a week for doing absolutely nothing, my clothes are washed, my phone bill is paid for, I get free home-cooked meals, and my college tuition will mostly be taken care of. It just doesn't get much better than this.

6. They care more than anyone else in your life

Everyday after school my grandparents asked me how my day was. They always wanted to know how a test or quiz went, and if the answer was bad they were just happy knowing I did my best. I have to text my grandma when I arrive and leave a place. Although I constantly complain about this, I know deep down she just wants to know I'm safe.

7. You have an everlasting bond with them

The relationship between a grandchild and a grandparent is something words cannot describe. You are apart of them and they are apart of you forever and always.

8. They give the best advice

Whenever you're getting a lecture from your parents or just about anyone you usually sit there consumed with boredom and lack of interest in what they are telling you. However, when your grandparents in particular give you advice and try to teach you right from wrong we tend to listen to what they are saying. They have been on this earth long enough to have learned from the mistakes they have made so they always give the best advice.

9. They play an active roll in your life

While back in the old days grandparents were just seen as old people that sat in rocking chairs on the front porch all day long, today so many grandparents are super involved in their grandchildren's life. Especially because I live with mine, they never miss any type of school/sporting event and are always around for special celebrations.


Unfortunately my grandfather is no longer with me, but my grandmother has taken on every possible role imaginable to fill the spaces left behind by our lost loved ones. Without my grandparents I would not be as successful as I am today nor would I have had the strength to continue on with life. My grandma is my entire life and I want nothing more in this world than to make her happy and repay her for all she has given me. Living with my grandparents has truly been a life changing event for me.

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