Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Role Model

By Suzie Carr

This past weekend, I flew to my hometown and had the pleasure of visiting with my ninety-five year old grandfather. I took him for lunch at his favorite local restaurant where they serve up French Meat Pie and mashed potatoes. This treat delighted him, but not as much as when I asked him to tell me about some of his favorite things in life.

This question created a two hour conversation where my grandfather transformed from a feeble old man to a lively young man telling his tale and reliving those special moments in his life that brought him the most joy. He told me all sorts of interesting facts I never knew about him, and I didn’t know them because I never took the time to ask.

This man lived his whole life stockpiling tons of valuable knowledge and funny memories, the kind of stuff that could fill hundreds of pages of a memoir. His face lit up as he recounted his first sight of an airplane, his first drive in a car, and his first time watching television in color. He spoke fast and animated, anxious to tell me as much as possible in the time we spent together. He laughed and joked about his first date with my grandmother, about their wedding day, about the time his older brother took him fishing, and about the reason he goes by three different names (no one could pronounce is real name, Aurele, so they called him Johnny and Joseph instead).

My grandfather has always been my role model. He is the epitome of a great man, a loving man, a generous and humble man. He believes in hard work and perseverance. He believes in dreams and in laughter. He is genuine and tactful. And most of all, he is a forgiving man who has learned to move forward despite hardships that would crush most people I know. I aspire to live my life as happily and grateful as my grandfather.

My grandfather’s health is failing, but his spirit is not. I do feel blessed that I was given this special moment with him.

Before it’s too late, reach out to those special people in your life. Take them out for coffee and ask them about their life, their dreams, and their favorite memories. They are filled with stories and are just bubbling over with desire to tell them to someone who really wants to hear them.

Hoping you’re equally as blessed,

I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to Chely Wright's LikeMe foundation ( to help provide support, resources and education to LGBT individuals, and their families and friends.


Tori said...

Love this, Suzie. I feel the same when I visit my 90-year-old grandmother. Thank you for the reminder to ASK these questions! We are blessed.

Anonymous said...

Hello Suzie, I loved this blog. It reminds me when I visit my grandma in Arizona. I lost my grandpa 3 years ago, he was ninety. I love listening to there stories. The best is going out with my grandma and watching her dance the night away. She is awesome!! I cherish every moment I am able to spend with her. Hugs! CindyLou15

Suzie Carr - novelist said...

Thanks Tori! Yes, we are so blessed;)))

Suzie Carr - novelist said...

Hi Cindy! Yes, cherish those moments;)) They are so special.

Anonymous said...

I dont know you and had never even heard of you til this morning, when I found your Blog via twitter. This post reminded me of my own last encounter with my dear-old Granny. Im sitting here crying like a little girl..even though IM a grown man..recalling the last time we visted and I prepared a meal for her of all of her favorite things..when I came into her town to visit her after learning of her cancer diagnosis. Our relatives..had warned me she wouldnt eat..I knew she would...but since she couldnt "fix herself up" like she used to...I knew she wouldnt be setting foot in the dining hall at her assisted living complex..I took a few days off from work, and my BF and I Drove the 800 miles to her town..and I spent the next few days hanging out with the only grandparent I had ever known. She asked me HOw I knew how she liked all the different foods I had made for her...and I told her..that those were all the things she used to make for me...when I used to hang out with her...when I was a little boy....I bought her some non-alcoholic beer(although she couldnt tell it wasnt the real thing) and listened to her tales of raising my dad as a single woman before during and after WWII..I had often wondered if my Granny was a Lesbian..But I never had the courage to ask her. I now wish I wouldve asked her, since that day was the last time I ever got to speak to her or see her alive. She died not really from the cancer that was inside of her..thank god of that...but from a fall in the bathroom? It happened in December. The happiest memeroies I have as a boy are of Christmas with my Grandma. So Seeing her laying in a Coffin in a funeral parlor decorated with Christmas garb..kinda ruined Christmas for me...But reading your Blog entry about you spending time with your Gandfather and his face lighting up while telling you about his past...which in a your past...Made me think of my Granny...and in my opinion..the best any dead person can hope for is that made enough impact on someone life that people think of them every now and again.

Didnt mean to Hijack your feeling a little emotional on this xmas eve I guess...


Suzie Carr - novelist said...


Wow, I am tearing up after reading your beautiful comment. I feel honored that you'd share this, and I have no doubt that others reading your comment will feel just as connected to its heartfelt message as I did.

Wishing you all the best,