The night before I left for Florida, I stumbled across (literally stumbled) an old book. It was layers deep full of type written letters – documents – photographs – and more. It was scrap book made for my father on his parent’s and family. This was a HUGE treasure because my father never said much about his parents…I think because it made him sad.
I had known that my grandpa was in the Navy. I never knew that he suffered and was in great pain for two years because of a simple operation of removing one’s tonsils that went very bad.
I learned about how my grandparents met and saw hand written notes. My favorite is a document my grandpa was meant to sign to receive access to my grandmother’s bank account. Instead of signing, my grandpa wrote: “Thanks anyway, Darling. I love you just the same.”
I read through many documents and letters and biographical information and learned that my grandpa lead more of a tragic life where he did what he believed was best despite the crowd. It’s how I strive to live – but I certainly am not there yet. Hopefully one day, I will live the way I want to live. It’s not so simple. One day, I’ll be ready to live tragically and beautifully too.
One of my favorite findings was what my grandmother had typed out from what she had read. They were little clippings of what she thought was worth typing out from all of her reading ( I guess that’s where my family gets their book worm characteristic).
I wanted to share just a few – my favorites – something that makes me feel like my grandma and I would have gotten along very well:
1. Never be afraid of “they.” People are more afraid of “they” than anything else in the world. Strong generals with great armies will face courageously the most outrageous foes yet be terrified of what “they” might say, “they” might do, “they” mighn’t like.
2. The second rule is even more important. Never collect inanimate objects. You can’t do it, for they collect you. *The more you own, the more you are possessed; therefore I own nothing but essentials. I’m free as air, and it’s wonderful.
* [ I’m sure “inanimate objects” don’t include Rubbermaid ]
3. The third rule, which suited me rather well, was always laugh at yourself first. Everybody has a ridiculous side, and the whole world loves to laugh at somebody else. If you laugh at yourself first, the laughter of others falls off harmlessly as if you were in golden armor.”
– I understand now that death is a very small event, soon over, soon forgotten; but to be a man is a big event, full of possibilities, even when one is old.