My Grandfather Was My Hero, Essay Example

My Grandfather Was My Hero, Essay Example

My grandfather was my hero. He passed away August 2008, on the 89th year of life. He had been married to my grandmother for 62 years. He was a great friend, a wonderful family man respected by everyone who knew him. I loved him devotedly, and still miss that part of my life that he filled with his presence.

Are you familiar with that sweet and excruciating feeling of waiting, when you long to see someone you love? That is exactly what I felt each Saturday waiting for him to come. We used to have a nice tradition: my granddad would visit us, my sister and me, every weekend and we would walk to the church with him, being more excited about our reunification than about the actual aim of the trip. I would grasp his hand occasionally, feeling rough and at the same time soft touch of his old hands, watching how my small childish palm was getting lost in his manly one. I loved this sensation, it endowed me with the feeling of safety, and I felt myself very smart being so tricky, I believed him not to detect my small manipulations, never noticing how he smiled gently feeling my hand in his.

We used to enjoy these walks. He always bought us something nice, some sort of a souvenir, or sweets, or a toy we were looking forward to getting. No need to say how we took pleasure in this part of his visit. Yet the older I was getting, the more I started to realize him as a wonderful person, turning my childish adoration into mature love and respect. I never stopped being a little girl by his side, no matter how old I was I would become perfectly humble and timid in his presence, enjoying activities that I used to like when being a kid. I used to feel so awfully sorry not being able to hold his hand when we walked any more. We eventually started to talk a lot, chatting about that and this event, discussing some basic facts, both sharing our own perception of world. He always listened to me, yet not in the way that adults usually do, with that irritating indulgence and constantly searching for something to criticize, but in an absolutely different way. He heeded my each word, making comments, laughing or disapproving, – depending on what I was telling. He always showed sincere interest in my opinions, treating my view of life with respect and attention. I loved to talk to grandfather, he seemed to always know what to say and how to act wisely in that or these situation. He treated life with curiosity typical for young people, and this quality, this love for living was truly wonderful in him.

His appearance was a weird contrast to his personal softness. He was five feet for inches tall, and weighted one hundred eighty pounds, which made him look rather stocky. He was strong indeed, well-known for his huge biceps and forearms. However, you could hardly meet a nicer, kinder, tenderer person, being so much in love with life and people. He used to always be in good shape, remaining active and energetic till his last days. He used to have wonderful grey hair, more of white than of grey color actually, and serene blue eyes, getting lighter with each year, but not in a way it usually happens to old people, – instead of getting pale and dim, his eyes were getting bright and joyful, radiating pure light of kindness and inner peace. He had wonderful face, beautiful just the way it radiated tenderness, and I used to love him smiling, with those cute ray-like wrinkles appearing all around his face. He had a very tender voice, the only sound of which could comfort me in the times of troubles and worries. I believe everyone always sought for his advice, heeding his each word. He never failed to set one’s mind at rest by the serenity he radiated. Not loving him was impossible.

Granddad was a cooker. I remember him smelling of chocolate cookies, cinnamon and milk. This wonderful fragrance was a part of my childhood, and I have always associated those smells with care and protection that I felt while being by his side. He loved to cook for the family, and we loved his cuisine a lot. He seemed to be able to cook anything. One of his famous home-made specialties that my sister and I preferred to everything else was an apple pie. The mere recollection of the sweet-and-sour taste it had made my mouth water. I seem to still smell the aroma of this delicious dessert. We used to eat as few as possible for the dinner to be able then to eat as many pieces of the pie as we could for dessert. We also used to look forward for a sweet potato pie. It was no less delicious. No doubts grandfather had wonderful hands. Those masculine hands with large palms and strong fingers, dealing with all types of food, moving quickly yet carefully, with both energy and tenderness, were a curious and fascinating sight indeed. I loved to watch him preparing most unusual and invariably appetizing dishes, so concentrated on his scrupulous work, every muscle of his face and hand seeming to be involved.

My grandfather and I had a certain amount of secrets between us. He used to tell me about his unfulfilled dreams and about the curious funny cases that happened to him when he was of my age. Most of them I’ve never told anyone. It’s not because there is something truly worth concealing about them, it’s more about the feeling of confiding relationship we had, about the trust we always put in each other. I remember we were having a walk late in spring when he told me how he once had lost his bathing suit while he was on a vacation with his family. He swam out to a floating dock in the pond and attempted to pull himself up. Yet the bathing suit didn’t come with him and he finished up flashing the entire beach. I laughed so hard, that couldn’t  stop even when we reached home, and had to conceal myself in the bedroom, not to confuse everyone by weird facial expression I had when trying not to burst into laughter. I also recollect, with the sweet melancholy in my heart, how two of us were exchanging crafty glances by the dinner table, and how I felt myself so happy to be granddad’s “accomplice”.

Grandfather taught me a lot of things. I enjoyed helping him at the kitchen. He used to know a lot about many different things, sharing a part of his versatile knowledge with me. I loved to listen to his talking about nature, he loved natural world a lot. He was always fascinated with each natural phenomenon, enjoying the look of birds, trees and flowers in summer and spring, snow and stars in winter, falling leaves and crimson-orange sunsets in autumn.  He influenced greatly my perception of surrounding environment. He revealed a beauty of the world to me, teaching me how to enjoy the tiniest happenings of the life around me. I learned from him how to be in love with life.

I cannot remember any spectacular adventures that we went through together. There are no great events associated with him that consequently changed my life. Memories I have about him are not those worth sharing with wide audience. They are only for me and several close people that know me better than everyone else. Not because they reveal some unknown shocking facts about the secret life of my family, but because they have turned out to be too personal becoming an inalienable part of me. I enjoy recollecting our common leisure times: how we played snowballs and made snowmen at winter; how we put up a tent in the garden in summer, and spent night chatting and watching the stars, so close and big like in no other season of the year; how we picked the flowers in spring with his telling me something interesting about each type; how we constructed nesting-box and hanged it out in the garden in autumn with the noble mission of feeding all the birds in the neighborhood.  I remember all that with the sweet regret about the childhood’s being over and about my grandfather’s passing away, being left in the time when I was absolutely naïve and perfectly happy.

I am sure that my grandfather will be remembered as a reliable, humble and hard-working man. He always had simple needs. He was straightforward and sincere, a person who believed in the significant role of education and friendship in our lives. He had a huge heart, and he always had a kind word for everyone. He expressed his love by feeding us with delicious apple and sweet potato pies, and by holding our hands with gentle, loving smile on his beautiful manly face. The light and radiating image of his personality, the role he had in my life, the influence he had on the formation of my individuality, are all so great that I still seem to feel him being somewhere around. He used to win over other people by his mere appearance. There was something in him that always made people put trust in him, his eyes inspired with confidence. I don’t think there had ever been even a single person not being conquered by his sincere cordiality and inborn intelligence. And I will never forget him till there is sun rising up every morning and setting down every evening, since I can never forget how much he loved watching those two.

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