The Most Amazing Man in the World
“In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony.” This quote by Eva Burrows embodies the importance of family in my life. During my childhood many people came and went in my life, but one man impacted my life in several ways. His name was Nathaniel W. and he was a loving, resilient, and tenacious Grandfather; a man who pursued his dreams no matter what adversity he faced. The lessons I learned from his example have helped me battle through many struggles in both my personal life and family life.
Baseball has always been one of the most important things in my life. Nevertheless during my junior year of high school I received very little playing time and as a result my self-esteem plummeted. For the first time in my life, I began to think about quitting baseball.
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But in the midst of my despair, my Grandfather’s voice would linger in my head, “you can’t give up now, it has only just begun.” I remembered the stories my Grandpa once told me. He was a tenacious man in the deadbeat restaurant business, in which people and businesses failed year after year. Although his business failed once or twice, he never gave up and continued to pursue his dreams of being a successful entrepreneur. Keeping my Grandfather’s triumphant story in mind fueled my self-esteem, which gave me the ability to prove myself worthy of a spot on the playing field. With his words branded in my mind, I never gave up and my spot was earned on the team the following year.
Off the baseball field, my Grandfather taught me many lessons about the importance of family communication. Everyday he’d call simply to check in or just say ‘hello’, emphasizing the value of keeping in touch with the family. Like my Grandpa, I try to keep the family close by organizing family dinners and presenting ideas for family vacations. As time passes and my siblings move on with their lives at various places around the country, I try to embrace my Grandfather’s family values of love and communication by calling my siblings several times a week. By maintaining his traditions, I feel I am bringing everyone together emotionally as well as physically.
Recently, my mother and father experienced relationship difficulties, which ended in a divorce. At that point in my life, I hit rock bottom both physically and mentally. While I saw everyone around me move on with their lives, my life was stagnant, in every aspect including social, sports, and academics. Numerous therapeutic remedies failed, which left me hopeless and weary. Ironically, although he knew nothing about psychology, it was my Grandpa who helped me to heal. The stories he told me of his failures and his resilience in the face of hardship were both therapeutic and inspirational for me. He lost his wife, his business, and fought many medical obstacles, but somehow he always managed to pull himself together and preserve an optimistic outlook. Thus it was my Grandfather’s example that pulled me through the most difficult time of my life.
My tenacity, sense of responsibility, and resilience are traits my Grandfather has passed to me. During my most difficult times he assisted me, influencing me in untold ways. With my Grandfather’s guidance, my problems dissipated and troubled times passed quickly. Unfortunately, on October 1st 2008 the great man I speak of passed away. His physical absence is greatly missed but his influence resides in me forever.