Countless, endless learnings that lie at the very core of who I am. Two years after his passing, my Grandad continues to be my life compass ...
Two years ago today, I sat in a darkened hospital room with my sisters, my mother, my aunty and my cousin. All his girls. We held Grandad's hand and said goodbye to the man all others will forever have to live up to. His loss was a gaping hole in all our lives. But what he taught me still resonates on a daily basis. His influence boundless and starkly fundamental. Today I want to share some of those with you.
Hard work wins out.
Good karma is not just about being kind and honest. Although that's pretty important, too. It's about putting in to life what you expect to get back out of it. Nothing can be achieved unless you have earned it. So no matter what is going on around you, you graft. Every single day. Get up, smile and keep on trying.
Real love is unconditional.
If you can't love someone at their worst, if you can't love them through their fuck ups and their mistakes, then it isn't love at all. Love isn't just a word, it's a verb. It's something you show and do, not something you say. When you do say 'I love you', what you're really saying is 'I have your back and I am here, always'.
Right and wrong.
More often than not, what is right and what is not is fairly black and white. You don't steal. You don't actively hurt another person. You don't lie. You don't cheat. Instead, you love. You offer a hand to hold. You offer an ear to listen. If you give more than you take, life will be irrevocably richer.
Real men cry.
When we learnt that my Nan had untreatable cancer, and she came home to be at peace for her final few days; my Grandad was in pieces. We held his hand, snuggled up to him, wiped the tears from his cheeks. Men of his generation were bread to be strong at the cost of everything else, crying was unthinkable. But he never hid his grief from us and to us that showed unthinkable strength. He was a modern man before the even existed. One of a kind.
There's so many more. So much that I want to reflect on and articulate. So much that I have to thank him for. But, for now, I think this says enough. My Gags ... what a bloke.