I lived at my grandparents house from the time I was in 2nd grade until I graduated from high school. After moving away, my grandparents would come visit me often. I moved back to Des Moines 3 years ago, partially because he had gotten sick and I wanted to be closer. I know I'm the person I am today because of his influence. I can't imagine where I'd be without him.
There are so many things that I will remember my grandpa for. My grandpa was funny and stubborn and passionate. We used to argue about politics and would always say, "what's you hurry?" when I would get ready to leave after visiting. It didn't matter that I had been there all day. A few things I especially admire about him are his perseverance, sacrifice, and generosity. With only a 7th grade education, he has successfully provided for his family for many years. When I was growing up, I remember waking up in the middle of the night to hear him pray for each of the members of his family. He stood upon the promises of the Bible and did not rest until He saw God move. He has always sacrificed for others whether it is through his time, money, or talent. I have heard countless stories of how he gave to others, even if it didn’t seem he had it to give. There were times when he would help people on the side of the road, or a friend at work, or even a stranger who came to their door.
I will never forget the day in hospice that I watched grandpa mouth the words to “It is Well” because speaking had become too labored at that point. I believe that when he looked back on his life, he knew those words to be true. I read the other day,” it’s not enough to be proud of your ancestry. You must live up to it.” That's what I intend to do.