A humble but assertive man

December 8, 2010
By juliachase. GOLD, St.Helens, Oregon
juliachase. GOLD, St.Helens, Oregon
15 articles 0 photos 3 comments

A humble but assertive man, full of achievements and various accomplishments, but far too modest to brag about them or even occasionally mention them. My grandfather, Dale Perfect Walker, joined the Tualatin Valley Fire Station as a determined and reliable volunteer at the age of twenty-one, and retired twenty-five years later, as a well known and loved Battalion Chief. He arrived with nothing but a dream and big blue eyes full of potential, but left with an overflowing handful of unforgettable memories, a retirement video, more than a few life-long friends, and everything he deserved.

Dale is an honest, hard working, dependable man with years of experience and a never ending supply of friends, whom he has made along his adventurous journey. He would do anything for a beloved family member in need. No matter what the given task involves, Dale will do his absolute best to complete it without the slightest hint of hesitation, regardless of personal complications that may arise. I know I can trust him with anything that could ever spontaneously appear in my already cluttered and confusing life. I’m not ashamed to admit that I don’t know many people like him, and I’m proud to say that he’s all I need. I wouldn’t trade him for anything. He means the world to me.

My future has always been of personal importance to him. He would go to great lengths to see me go to college anywhere I wished, as long as I was successful and happy. He takes pride in himself and his family. Each and every day, Dale strengthens my desire to do better in school. He takes countless hours out of his days and chooses to spend them encouraging me in my studies, so I can pursue my dreams later in life, without interruption.
He has very strong opinions involving the route in which I decide to take to attain my dreams and goals. My grandfather doesn’t want to see me go down the wrong path and become involved in drugs, alcohol, illegal substances, violence, or romance that might ruin everything that I have worked for. Although I take everything he says into consideration, I think that whichever route I end up taking will define the person that I become. No matter how difficult it may prove itself to be, I believe I can stay true to myself and follow the path that’s right for me. My grandfather has taught me that.

For as long as I can remember this man has set very high standards for me, and expected more of me than I thought I was capable. He expects me to get good grades in school, to stay out of trouble as much as possible, and always try my personal best despite what anyone else has to say. His high standards have forced me to work hard for what I want, because I’m constantly trying to do better than I have done before, and in the end I appreciate myself and the task much more when
I finally accomplish it. For example, when I was in gymnastics every season, I would try my absolute best to qualify for state, and when I finally did, I went home with a 9.98 on Vault and a first place medal for it. If I don’t succeed in my given challenges, which I frequently won’t, I can still truthfully say that I tried my best and, no matter what, I’m proud of myself for the amount of effort I put forth.
Performing these prearranged goals doesn’t happen without endless amounts of failure and difficulty, though it sometimes may seem otherwise for someone that isn’t involved. I took time from things that I would rather have been doing to stay home and study for a test, or write a report on a famous historian. I had to straighten out my priorities very quickly, because without warning everyone suddenly developed high expectations for me. It may easily be seen as a waste of time by my classmates, but absolutely anything can prove to be a waste of time if you fail to learn something throughout the experience. As long as you manage to walk away with something more, there’s no doubt that everything was completely worthwhile, and as my grandfather always tells me, “Look back on it and smile, because it’s a part of your past that should never be forgotten.”

Throughout all the years of witnessing the manner in which he handles himself and how he deals with difficult situations, such as losing family members
or divorcing his wife, I believe I’ve taken his life lessons to heart and made them a part of who I am. My grandfather changed the person I am and the person I am becoming. Through all his stories, riddles and examples, I have learned more than I ever thought possible from any one person. Occasionally, he displays his advice in the form of a riddle in attempt not to hand me the answer. He allows success or failure to become my own.

I would be a completely different person if my grandfather hadn’t made a genuine effort to be involved in my life. He has done a wonderful job, because he has always been there for me and I could never ask for anything more. Although I’m sure that there will come a day when he won’t be around any longer, I also know that he’ll never truly be gone. A part of him will live on in me forever, because of the impact he has had on my life. His spirit will linger with me and hopefully never leave. He’s my grandfather and he’s the kind of person who deserves to be remembered, and he will be. His face will shine in family photos, his spirit will sing through his safely kept treasures, and his footsteps will someday be followed by someone very similar to him. Independent, determined, energetic and devoted. Someone who hasn’t entirely figured everything out, but is determined to follow in his footsteps. If no one else remembers him, I’ll remember him, always. And, I’ll never forget the influence he had on me and my life.

The author's comments:
I wrote this for a writing competition in 8th grade, it's about my grandfather.

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