My grandma has pictures plastered everywhere of my grandpa at her house now. He passed away March 13, 2009. I didn't realize how hard it was for me to look at them until the other day. My grandpa was the most important man in my life for 23 years (until my son was born). He taught me just about everything I know. I attribute 80% of my positive attributes to him and about 40% of my negative attributes as well. He was an amazing man, with an amazing life, and amazing stories. I am able to take care of quite a few things on a car because of him. I am able to problem solve very well because of him. I am unable to tolerate stupid people because of him (see, it's a catch 22). I know there are things in my life, past, present, and future, that he would not be okay with. I can hear his voice in my head when I have a decision to make. But without a shadow of a doubt I KNOW that man loved me. And I know he loved me for who I am, even if he didn't agree with me. I think it's very hard to disagree with a person and yet show them love at the same time and yet he managed to do just that every day. I am glad to say that when it comes to him I have a clean conscience. I know I did right by him and I know I continue to do right by him by making sure the love of his life is ok. He loved my grandma more than anything. I don't think there is anything that he wouldn't have done for her. It is purely his example that I now realize what true love is. I feel bad for people who didn't get to know my grandpa. A lot of people will have a lot of bad things to say about 'Howard'. He was very outspoken. In his mind he knew what was right and that was it. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people only saw this. If you're quick to judge, or quick to be offended, then you wouldn't have liked him. But if you talked to him with an open-heart, knowing that you may not agree with him, but knowing you are talking to a man who stands up for what he believes in with more integrity than you ever thought possible, then you would love him. He is an amazing example to me of how a person should be. I can see in me the things that are good from him and I try to utilize them to the best of my ability. I see the things in me from him that are not so great and I do my best to turn those stumbling blocks into stepping stones. I am a strong person with a strong work ethic that can problem solve my way out of anything. For that and everything else he has given me I will always be truly greatful and hold him in my heart.
ps-if you're a person that has no, or doesn't use any, common sense, know that I plaster on a smile and keep my comments to myself. :)