You could say that I kind of ‘woke up’ this year after my grandfather died. He had wisdom that I’m just beginning to understand. The truth is, that death changed me in ways that I couldn’t predict. My grandparents were very involved in raising us. In high school, I would often crash at their house rather than drive the extra 30 minutes home after football practice and piano lessons ate up most of my evening. They were on speed dial as my emergency response team, and one night I completely ditched them for my friends without notice, not re-surfacing until the next morning. Maybe my early gray hairs are karma for that.

Beginning to See

Some relationships in life touch you more deeply than you give them credit for, and it’s for this lesson that I’m most thankful upon the passing of my late grandfather. He mattered to me, and over the last 12 years or so I saw him only on the holidays…or so I thought. What I really saw is what I wanted to see—a relative, an old man, one my biggest fans in high school (that was so LONG ago). I was still mired in my own life and perspective.

Last month, I had the privilege to spend many days with my bedridden grandfather. We chatted about the weather and food, and we chatted about life and family. He said, “Stay close to each other, love one another, that’s the most important thing. Everything else will take care of itself, but you all, stay close.”

Seeing

I really started to SEE my grandfather when he expressed his love for my grandmother. As she fed him or bathed him, sometimes they would sing together, remembering happier times, past times, times when things were different. Ironically, you could see the timelessness of their gaze on each other, like nothing else mattered, and…it didn’t. Each moment they got together, they cherished.

In each of our moments, we have a choice. The impact that we choose to have will reverberate out from that moment of creation. Your moment may seem insignificant, but those moments add up to a lifetime. So choose wisely in this moment, and you’ll build a lifetime of wisdom.

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