This week I lost someone dear to me. My Grandpa – my mom’s Daddy – passed away. He was 88 years old with health struggles, but his passing was sudden and very hard on the family. We are still reeling from the pain of this week, but through the pain there was so much joy in remembering the man that Grandpa was. In honour of my Grandpa, and because he was such a good, Godly, kind man with so many qualities to aspire to, I thought I’d share with you 5 things that my Grandpa taught me about life.

Grandpa with 5 of his 7 children in the 60s

There is Value in Good, Old Fashioned Hard Work

When Grandma and Grandpa immigrated to Canada, they only had a couple of suitcases to their name. By consistently working hard, they were able to purchase their own home within a few years, and eventually a farm. They started working in Canada by harvesting beets for farmers, and then my Grandpa became a mechanic. I’ve definitely learned that working hard is very rewarding. The harder you work, the “luckier” you get.

Don’t Ever Miss a Chance to Spend Time With Your Family

When he was healthy, Grandpa was always up for visiting any of his 7 children and multitude of grandchildren. He would never turn down an offer to come for a visit. I want to take every opportunity to spend time with my immediate and extended family like Grandpa did.

Take the Photo

Grandpa had over 7000 photos on his computer. There are photos of him and Grandma caressing, photos of his entire (large!) extended family together, photos of events, and my mom said he even had screenshots of my TV interviews. Grandpa loved taking photos of the special people in his life and looking back on those memories. I love taking photos too, and realizing how much Grandpa loved photos has inspired me to take even more – especially of my loved ones.

I may have bought too many flowers this week (if there is such a thing)

Think Outside the Box

My Grandpa had a very creative mind, and could solve lots of problems by thinking outside the box. There are stories of him in Germany during the war creating useful tools from old parts, and post-war he even built a home with DIY nails he made! I’d like to think that some of Grandpa’s creative thinking was passed down to me, and I hope to honour him by continuing to think outside the box with my own creativity.

Know That This Life is Not The End

A deep faith in God was at the center of Grandpa’s life. He would always tell us to “go with God” when saying goodbye, and by his actions he showed everyone around him the love of God. He and Grandma have always been very generous, kind, and loving. I know they always prayed for me and for all of their many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Near the end of his life, Grandpa was looking forward to going to heaven to be with his Savior. I also believe in God, Jesus and the hope of heaven, and I want to share the peace, love and joy I’ve found in this Hope with everyone.

Thank you, Grandpa, for being such a wonderful example for me to follow. I love you and miss you. ‘Til we meet again.