Today is National Grandparent’s Day. A special day for grandchildren to honor and appreciate these special people in our lives.
I’ve always been a lucky girl when it comes to family. I’ve grown up with a multitude of positive role models and good examples to follow with a house of four brothers and two loving parents. As a young adult, two more individuals also moved in with my family: my grandparents. Living with them everyday, I got to know them well and admire them.
My grandfather is a courageous man. He was active during World War II and stationed in Germany. He helped with the deconstruction of one the concentration camps and saw some of the atrocities Hitler inflicted on his war prisoners. He was a firefighter for the Philadelphia Fire Department for many years. He entered burning buildings without the slightest hesitation, knowing it was his job to be a rescuer. But his most courageous act happened much later in life.
My grandfather is a courageous man for the way he loved my grandmother. A few years ago my grandmother developed dementia and he took care of her as her disease progressed. Eventually, her illness became too advanced for her to continue to live at home. After placing her in a nursing home, my grandfather faithfully visited her every day. He was completely dedicated to her. It took courage to be by her side, as the woman he loved slowly faded away. My grandmother lost her memory of all her family members, but never him. She always knew who the man by her side was.
This past June my grandmother passed away. My Grandfather was courageous as we laid her to rest in the cemetery, he was courageous the first time we visited her grave together, and he’s courageous every day he now faces without her. He still smiles despite how much he misses her. He looks at pictures of her everyday and he visits the nursing home where she spent the last years of her life to talk to and thank those who cared for her. My Grandfather is a very courageous man and a great role model.
Courage: Acting bravely and boldly, notwithstanding fear is one of A Woman’s Place (AWP) values. This value has always made me think of my grandfather and what he exemplifies. The work that we do at AWP takes courage, and it takes courage for our clients to come to us and to face the prospect of radically changing their lives. I consider it a privilege to work at AWP and I hope I make my grandfather proud.