My Grandfather told me a lot of things.

He told me I was beautiful and smart. I know there were times I didn’t believe him. But sometimes I did.

He told me I could do just about anything if I set my mind to it. So far, that has proved to be completely true.

My Grandfather told me that things aren’t important, but people are. He taught me to place value on the intangible things in life.

Occasionally, when I was being horrid, he told me that he loved me an awful lot, but at that particular moment, he didn’t really like me. Those words made me realize I should think more carefully about the person I wanted to be.

He told me he was disappointed in my behavior when the situation warranted. Nothing made me want to choose better the next time.

He told me I would only ever be about as miserable as I allowed myself to be. He also varied the statement, substituting words like happy, old, angry, or tired.

My Grandfather told me more than once to save my tears. “It’s OK to cry a little bit now,” he’d say, “but you’re going to need some of those tears when you’re older.”

He told me when I was making a huge mistake. Sometimes with words; sometimes by allowing me to figure it out for myself.

On the way down the aisle to meet my almost Fab Hub at the altar on our wedding day, My Grandfather told me to slow down and enjoy the walk. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t talking about the walk to the front of the church, specifically.

My Grandfather told me that my Fab Hub was a good man. He was right. I still can’t help thinking that it takes one to know one.

He told me my Grandmother was the most beautiful woman he ever knew. He was right about that, too. She was beautiful in many ways. And when he looked at her, there was no question that he thought so every single day.

He told me stories about things he did growing up, meeting my Grandmother, serving in World War II, being diagnosed with cancer and beating it. He taught me what it means to be a person of honor and dignity. He showed me how to be a person of strength.

My Grandfather told me a lot of things. I hope he knows I listened.


Mama’s Losin’ It

Lisa A. Listwa is a self-employed writer with experience in education, publishing, and the martial arts. Believing there was more to life than punching someone else’s time clock and inspired by the words of Henry David Thoreau, she traded her life as a high school educator for a life as a writer and hasn’t looked back. She is mother to one glorious handful of a daughter, wife to the nicest guy on the planet, and reluctant but devoted owner of three Rotten Cats. You can find her adventures and thoughts on living life deliberately here on the blog.

23 thoughts on “Things My Grandfather Told Me

  1. Oh my, that is beautiful. I almost cried. You are truly blessed. I am the youngest grandchild on both sides….my grandfathers died before I had those memories that you described. I hope I am the grandmother to my grandchildren that your grandfather was to you. I want them to remember with such love and admiration.

    1. Thanks, Peggy. We are truly blessed to have had my Grandparents with us so long – I was nearly forty when they died. Not many kids can say they had their grandparents around for that much of their life. I’m sure you’ll be remembered well, too! 🙂

  2. I’m sure your grandpa knows just how well you listened, Lisa. You’re a pretty amazing person, just like him.

    By the way, when I read the words, “On my way down the aisle to meet my almost Fab Hub….” I took the “almost” to mean not quite fab instead of not quite your husband yet. Silly me 🙂

    1. Oh, Dyanne, thank you! I’d say you’re pretty amazing yourself! 🙂

      Funny read on the Fab Hub line – hadn’t thought it might come through that way. He’s definitely Fab – he and the Almost Brother-In-Law spent the better part of two days putting new floor in our downstairs room. Talk about Labor Day Weekend!

    1. Hi, Renee. I grew up thinking that all kids had Grandparents in their lives every day. I had no idea that wasn’t the case for everyone. It makes me even more thankful to have had mine for nearly forty years of my life. Glad you stopped by!

  3. This is a list of things to save and treasure, because not only did your Grandfather know a lot of important things about life, but he obviously loved you very much.

    Great post!

  4. This is a sweet and beautiful post. I love to hear what people learned from their grandparents. This one touched me a little because I didn’t know my grandfathers that well. One died before I was born and the other died shortly after that. All I really knew was one grandmother. But I look back on what she told me and our interactions together fondly. She was a wise woman herself.

    1. Grandparents have so much to offer a family. Sometimes we are unable to connect with them as you said, when they are gone before we are old enough to really reap the benefits of that wisdom and experience. But it makes me sad to see people in general not enjoy and cherish the time they do have with grandparents. Some of us are really lucky – whether one or four, any time with them is precious.

  5. I have written several posts since I started my blog about what my grandparents it meant to me over the years. This was beautiful. Glad you had him for as long as you did.

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