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Friday, October 05, 2012

Remembering My Grandfather

77. Cattle die, | and kinsmen die,
And so one dies one's self;
But a noble name | will never die,
If good renown one gets.

78. Cattle die, | and kinsmen die,
And so one dies one's self;
One thing now | that never dies,
The fame of a dead man's deeds.

I have struggled for a while now, to find words of my own to capture just what lessons I've learned and will carry forward from my grandfather, and I think the reason I've struggled is because his influence on my life was so subtle. It isn't like with Grandma, where I could point to practical applications. Grandpa's relationship with me wasn't about the practical. He was about the intellectual, the moral, the academic. It was about being a good person and living a noble life. The things I learned from my grandfather weren't explicitly taught because he was a living example.

I think that's why this particular quotation from the Havamal seems the most fitting. It was the things my grandfather DID that made him memorable, his deeds which we won't forget. And even in his passing, he'll still live on as an example.

Because my grandfather? He was a good man. He never let anyone down, never wavered in his loyalty or his love for us, even when the way forward seemed bleak or impossible. He shaped my idea of what family was, what family should always be, and the kind of person I should want to be. A good person, who inspires others to be good, too.

His noble name will never die, and maybe, if I'm lucky, if I follow the example he set, someone will say the same thing about me.

5 comments:

  1. Your grandfather sounds like the best kind of man, the type that inspires goodness and excellence in the rest of us. I'm pretty sure you're already following in his footsteps. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Stephanie -- that's so kind of you to say. I really appreciate it.

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  2. This is a beautiful tribute to your grandfather. And I couldn't agree with Stephanie more. <3

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  3. Of course, it brought tears to my eyes.

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