I had a lot on my mind earlier tonight so I went for a run down to Carkeek Park. As I sat there on the beach watching the sun set on the water I thought about my grandfather and all he’s ever taught me. The calm of this moment was broken as my iPod beeped and the robotic voice whispered “low battery” into my earbuds. A few moments later, the music stopped and I stashed the iPod in my pocket for the uphill run through the woods back home.
I may be young and dumb, but at this point I am wise enough to know that everything in this world dies (even my iPod). I am also selfish enough to wish this wasn’t true. It may sound stupid, but that “low battery” moment at the beach illuminated the truth behind a thousand cliches from a thousand movies and a thousand bad poems — death is just a part of life. It will happen to all of us, and while dwelling on the end of life is no real way to live, keeping the reality of death in mind will spur each of us to live the most meaningful possible version of our lives. I think that’s what my Grandpa was trying to tell me today on the phone. Whether his fighting spirit carries him through this week or I have to say goodbye to him soon, I’ll never forget the lessons he has taught me. I will carry them with me for my entire life.
One of the greatest lessons I have learned from my grandfather is the importance of telling the people in your life how much you care about them. It may feel stupid to occasionally tell your friends and family that they’re important to you, but if you always speak honestly from deep within your soul, you’ll never be wrong. My grandfather is never afraid to tell a person how great they are and how much he loves them, and it is one of his most admirable traits. He never holds back the compliments, and he overflows with positivity. He is honestly one of the most caring and compassionate people I’ve ever met, and I want to live that legacy every single day. He radiates with love and his spirit brightens every room he enters. When I think about my future, I won’t care whether I someday make a lot of money or drive a fancy car back-and-forth between my mansion and my high-paying job, as long as I end up like him. I can only hope that once I learn to be a real man, I can then learn to be a great man. A man like my grandfather.
I guess this bring us to the “teachable moment,” if that is something that can even happen on a hardly-read blog on a Monday night. Tonight I discovered three important nuggets of valuable truth: Sunsets are Carkeek Park are absolutely beautiful, death is just a part of life, and sometimes cliches like “death is just a part of life” exist for a reason. This is one of those times.
Thank you for reading this. You didn’t have to and I appreciate it. If you can find the time, please send my wonderful grandfather your thoughts, prayers, and whatever other meditative-type good vibes you choose to generate. He has been making the world a better place his entire life and he could use the love.