*This is definitely a personal post about me, if you don't care to read it, you can always stop here.*
Something I have put a lot of thought into in the recent weeks is some of my inspirations. I consider myself lucky, as many people is this day and age barely have a relationship with one of their parents, let alone are able to spend time with the parents of their parents. I come a very family-orientated background, both of my grandparent's were married until both of my grandfather's had passed away and I had the privilege and honor to know both of them for periods of my life. My parent's are still married to this day with no signs of that dissipating. My parents and grandparents are amazing role models for me to have and I haven't always given them the appreciation they deserve, so maybe that is a part of the reason for this post.
Being a parent is not easy, my parents had 4 children and I am the second oldest. Every child is a little different (we all tend to learn from the others, even the parents learn as they go along) with their own specifications, desires and uniqueness's. I don't know how my mother did it but she home schooled all 4 of us until high school (grade 8 and 7 for the younger two). To be honest, she is the best teacher I ever had, and she was definitely strict. Once I got to high school, I found out how easy it was to slack, and that was something I wasn't used to. It became a bad habit for awhile, I still did what I needed to do, I just didn't have anyone pushing me in the right direction constantly. I made it out, barely scraping along the bare minimum to get into college.
Now, I have been living on my own for 4 years. There are definitely times I wish I would have stayed at home longer (I moved out at 18). The support my parents and grandparents (especially my mother's parents) have given me is immense and their lives are inspirational. I won't lie, there were times I took it for granted, I misjudged myself and my surroundings and allowed my logic to be blinded by everything else conflicting. I've made some bad decision's in my life, some to this day I am still feeling the effects of. I haven't always tried my hardest, and in order to be successful, you have to work hard all the time at becoming exactly that: A Success. My mothers parents, Helen and Henry (my middle name is named after him), are a perfect example of this.
Their story is an such inspiration in itself, my mother has decided a while ago to write a book (for children, she does ECE work) and I have been planning on writing a screenplay (wrote some stuff but haven't worked toward anything solid yet) based on them. I miss my grandfather, he passed away on thanksgiving weekend of '08. He was the greatest man I have ever met in my life and I am proud to say that I knew him as long as I did. He didn't talk much, but he was always logical, always driving into people how to be successful, and really it was simple for him; Work hard.
Both of my grandparents were survivors of World War II. My grandmother grew up in a town on the far east of, what was then, Poland (her village is now in Belarus after the borders were readjusted, post-WWII). My grandfather grew up on the exact opposite side of the country, in a town on the Germany-Poland border. The war broke out and all its horrific events took place (btw, history has a funny way of being biased... there are a lot of first person accounts that aren't included in mainstream media or in educations replays of historical events), my grandmother and her family, through determination, and the bonding strength of their shared love and faith, made it to safety by crossing the country and evading capture. There, my grandmother would meet her future husband. They met but were split up as both of their intention was to come to Canada, only one made it first. They corresponded through letters and then were reunited many years later only to be married. Many years down the road I come into existence. I can actually say I thank God for being alive because both of my grandparents could have easily been one of the millions that had passed away during that period, but they made it, met one another, and now I am alive. I got fairly close to both of them, although for many of my grandfather's latest years he was very ill, I even lived with them for periods. They do mean so much to me, and I have a lot of love and respect for them. My grandmother stuck with my grandfather to the very end of his well-respected and successful life. He was a soldier until the very end, fighting cancer numerous times before leaving us to be in a better place. Even through his sickness, he was still supporting and mentoring those around him. He loved his family, every single one of us in it.
Both of them came here with absolutely nothing, took advantage of the system by working as much as they possibly could (even a little more perhaps) to make/save as much as they could. Over the years they bought land and farmed it, today what they created - Grand Bend Produce Co. - an extremely successful and large company distributing all over southwestern Ontario and in major grocery retailers. They were successful and it was because their hard work paid off. My grandparents were both well respected people in their communities who treated most people like family because they knew that life was so precious and important, for everyone. This is coming from people who had watched other people take other peoples lives from them, at young ages. Their childhood and teens were spent in war. I should have learned more from them at an early age, but I had to make some mistakes first to learn about me. I am glad I have had their inspiration and support, and the support from my parents, that I have been lucky at all to have around me. My parents learned from their parents and have always tried their best to make sure we knew what was best for us. Took me a little time, but I've been learning ;p. I know none of them will ever read this but I do wish to say thank you, especially to my grandfather's looking down at me today as I am doing what I can to make them proud, for that is all they wanted for us, success and happiness. I wish they would have been here to see me today, I am nowhere near where I want to be, but I am getting closer. Either way, they are watching, so I'll make them, my grandmother's, and my parents, proud to call me their (grand)son, their family.