By Ron PereiraMy Grandpa, Willard J. Price, recently passed away. He was 99-years-old. From what I’ve heard Grandpa enjoyed his dinner, went back to his room, took a few breaths and closed his eyes for the final time.
The funeral was held in Indiana. Once we knew the specifics my wife and I decided to load the van up with our 7 kids and make the drive from Texas. This afforded me a lot of time to reflect on my Grandpa’s life and the legacy he left behind.
I was blessed to be able to speak during the funeral service. I, and two of my dear cousins, shared our favorite memories of Grandpa. My “opening statement” was that my Grandpa lived a full, outstanding, life and that this gathering was a celebration of his life.
I then shared some of my favorite Grandpa stories that included the time my sister and I decided to take Grandpa’s lawn mower for an “unapproved spin.” We were doing OK until we slammed into a brick wall, panicked, and ran for cover. We may have also left the mower in gear which caused it to repeatably slam against said wall.
The best part of this story is neither my sister or I can remember what sort of trouble we got in. We’re sure we did. But, what we vividly remember is that our Grandpa never fixed the broken headlights on that mower. Classic!
There are so many other stories that revolved around fishing, lots of laughing, and my Grandpa’s HEAVY, and I do stress HEAVY, foot as he drove his van around town! Oh my… my Grandpa loved to drive fast. He also loved to look at the person he was talking to while driving which could prove to be interesting!
But, as fun as my Grandpa was – and man was he a fun man – the biggest thing I’ve taken away from his life is the legacy he left with friends and, especially, his family. He loved us deeply. He cared for us deeply. And when you were with Grandpa you were almost guaranteed to leave his presence a happier person.
It’s also reinforced how important my family is and how I want to maximize every second of every day with my wife and my children. Sure, things like my professional career (and even projects like Intentional Encounter) are important… but nothing is more valuable than the time and love I can give to my wife and kids. Nothing.
So the challenge I have for myself (perhaps you can take the same challenge?) is to seek out ways to love my family more deeply, to care for my family more deeply, and to ensure the people I come in contact with on a day-to-day basis leave my presence in a happier, more fulfilled, state. Thankfully my Grandpa showed me what this looks like.
Until next time… be holy, eat clean, and do more push-ups!