When I was younger, I remember watching my grandparents live extremely active lives. As this was the format I was raised with, I thought all grandparents were this way. I remember wishing I could go with them on their many excursions as they traveled much of the globe. Unfortunately, I was 16 at the time and was in no position to go globe-trotting. However, they did inspire me to want more out of life. It also helped that they had a seemingly endless amount of money from retiring as state and federal government officials.
1. Treasure Hunting – Not only did my grandparents invest in a treasure-hunting expedition by some random boat captain, they participated in the dives as well. I remember my grandmother bringing back photographs and stories of their dives in the Gulf of Mexico and various parts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. While they never landed the mother-load of all treasures, they enjoyed themselves immensely. Personally, I think Grandma did it for no other reason than because it was fun to go diving. Treasure be damned, she loved to swim.
2. Golf - My grandparents played golf up to the day either of them had died. As my family consists of many golfers, I was subjected to the sport at an early age. However, I learned to appreciate the peace and tranquility a golf course has – especially now that I have children. While Grandpa was probably good enough to join a seniors tour, his life was full as it was. He wanted for nothing and just enjoyed himself regardless of where he was or what he was doing. I would love to reach that level of contention. While I do aspire to be more like my grandparents, my own circumstances are a bit different. For one, I didn’t retire from the state and air force.
3. Do It Today - We’ve all heard the adage, “Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” My grandparents seemed to have lived that motto. If they wanted to try something new, they did it immediately. They accomplished a lot together and there were times where I was envious of them. They led such an adventurous life and it all started by their commitment to never put anything off.
4. Family First - As active as my grandparents were, their love of life and family always provided a full house during the holidays. In fact, our family was knit so closely that most weekends seemed like some kind of holiday by themselves. There were always lessons of life to be learned during these gatherings and my grandparents passed on a great deal of wisdom to us grandkids. I could safely say that I learned more about living life from my grandma than I ever did from my biological parents. My own father feels the same way about Grandma. She was the pillar that kept many of us going throughout the years. Some days we feel lost without her, even now more than two decades after her losing the bout with pancreatic cancer.
It’s been twenty years since I had to bid them farewell. Regardless of how long it’s been since I was able to talk to them, I can still hear their words clear as a bell. They made an impact on all of us and I hope that I could live my life as well as they had.