My Amazing Grandfather (Grandpa)
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Personal Narrative- My Amazing Grandpa
I don't have a lot of fantastic memories of childhood. There were no spectacular family adventures, no unique family projects that taught some sort of moral lesson, no out-of-the-ordinary holidays. We ate family meals together, but most of the time the children and adults lived in different worlds. The kids went to school, did homework, and played; the adults worked. I was lucky, though. When I wanted a little of both worlds, I could always turn to Grandpa.
I remember vividly the weekends at his house. Sitting on his lap, going to wrestling matches, walking down the street or through a park--these were things I did with Grandpa. I wasn't just a kid to him: I was his granddaughter, and I was special. He was special too.
Grandpa was a giant of a man. He stood six feet two inches and weighed over 250 pounds. He moved with purpose and carried himself with respect. Tom was a proud man, a good man, and all who knew him said so. Even if you didn't know him, you would notice his inner strength, his patience, his self-esteem.
Grandpa wasn't a scholar. In fact, he didn't even make it through grade school. He was born at the turn of the century, and educating black men wasn't a necessity then. He went to work when he was sixteen, and for the next forty years he worked in a coal factory. Then he worked in a steel mill for another twenty years. He stopped working only because the steel mill closed and he was too old to find another job.
When I was with Grandpa, I could be a child and yet see things through grown-up eyes. "You see that tree, Cookie," he would say. "That tree was here before those houses. God put that tree there; man put the houses. Which is more beautiful?" If I climbed a tree, he didn't say, "Get down." He said, "Climb it right so you won't fall."
"You appreciate what you work for," he used to say. He taught that lesson well. He never let me win any game; he taught me to win by learning to lose.
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Grandpa Grandfather Black Men Meals Patience Sixteen Cookie Feet Self-esteem Scholar
If he couldn't answer a question, he was honest about it, but he would also say, "Why don't you find out and let me know too." He listened to me and he heard my feelings, not just my words.
There was a tougher side to Grandpa, and I suppose this, too, made him special. There was the black man who fled with his near-white wife and children from North Carolina to avoid harassment and threats from the Ku Klux Klan. There was the quiet man whose home was robbed three times by the same drunk, who reported it three times to the police with no results, and who finally waited for the man to do it a fourth time--and shot him dead as he climbed through the bedroom window in the middle of the night. And there was the man who fractured his leg at work, never reported it because he couldn't afford not to work, and years later still endures the pain of the ill-mended fracture.
Grandpa is almost ninety-five and now resides in a nursing home in Windsor, North Carolina. The leg he fractured forty years ago is too weak to carry his weight. His eyes are going bad. But to me he's still the big, strong man who used to take his grandchild in his arms and rock her, the man who taught a small child to see all the things around her with open eyes, the man who taught a child to try until she wins and becomes the best. He's still special and, thanks to him, so am I.
In my life, my grandfather has had one of the biggest impacts, if not the biggest, on influencing me and helping me to make better decisions and becoming a better person. I am going to tell you why he is a good example and my role model.
Ever since I was a little kid, I have always loved sports, especially football. Since I love playing sports I have played football in high school. My grandfather also enjoys sports and also has a passion for the game of football. Through my three years so far in high school football, my grandpa has helped me become a better player. I listen to him because when he was in high school and was elected to the all-state football team. He also received a couple of scholarship offers for small colleges. On the same note of football, some of my best memories are of sitting in the garage with my grandpa, dad, and my brother on a fall afternoon and watching the Nebraska Cornhuskers play on television, especially on thanksgiving when they would play Colorado. He has also encouraged me now to do track. He was also an exceptional track runner. He ran the 100, 200, and 400, the same events as me. Some of my other favorite times with him are when I was a little kid we used to go fishing a lot.
Another reason why I admire my grandpa so much is because of his extremely hard work ethic. Ever since I was a little boy, my grandpa has taught me and showed me what good work ethic mean. He is a good example, because when he was a young man, his family owned a small liquor store. His mother and father owned and managed it, and since his mother was sick a lot, he often had to help his father run the store. He has also worked several jobs in his life. He owned his own liquor store when my mother was a young girl, he helped on a farm, he had his own painting business and now he is working at Wal-Mart
until he can retire in a couple of years. It is sometimes funny how much he pays so much attention to the detail of the work his does, because for example if he mows his lawn, and it doesn’t look quite right, he will it two or three more times until it looks like he wants it.
Responsibility is something that I have struggled with in the past and I don’t do very well. My grandpa on the other hand, is a very responsible person. When he was in school, he was almost a straight A student. Me on the other hand, not so much. That’s why I am as responsible as I am now, because of him. I used to be ornery and obnoxious, and one day he sat me down when I was about 12 and had a talk with me about being more mature and responsible. Now, although I am a still ornery and obnoxious from time to time, I am much more responsible now than I was, and I would probably be worse if my grandpa hadn’t have had a talk with me. He also helped me in school and made me realize how important grades are and now I bet almost all a’s and b’s.
Another area of my life my grandpa has helped me with is my faith in god. When I was a little kid and we would visit my grandma and grandpa, we would always go to church in the morning, and I hated getting up and going. Since I would be in a bad mood when we would go I would get into trouble and cause distractions. My grandpa has helped me with my faith so now I don’t mind getting up and going to church.
Now after reading this essay, I hope you can see why I admire and respect my grandfather as much as I do. He is the best role model I have, and I will always look up to him.