I was 7 years old when my Grandfather got sick. I'm sure he wasn't a perfect dad or even close to a perfect person, but he was to me. I'd wake up just to get to ride in the tractor with him. It never got old. It was always hot, but he and I would get in that tractor and just be happy. I was always happy when I was with him.
Sometimes the truth is the hardest thing to hear. The older I get, the more stories I hear, I realize... I'm more like him then I ever thought imaginable. Sadly, not the good parts.
He collapsed in one of his fields when he was 70. He never recovered, however, he did live. He had Guillain Barre. He laid, dying, for 7 years. He was paralyzed from the neck down. He would never get up and eat again, never use the bathroom, never truly speak again.
I try and tell my friends, when you think of the past... think of the happy times, the times that made you smile. He made me smile. He made me laugh. I just wish I could forget how he died.
I guess in all that is life, we are who we are because of what life has shown us. I was shown loss at a very young age. I was shown a Grandfather who lived with nothing. What I was shown is also what I learned. I love without condition.