My grandfather is the ideal human being. I adore hisabsolute selflessness and generosity, his quiet manner and unconditional love.
He was always the guy quietly videotaping birthday parties and otherevents, perfectly content to sink into the background, perfectly content simplyto be around the family he loves. My earliest memories are of sneaking into hismusic room, trying not to interrupt him while he played one of his trademarkcontemporary jazz pieces on his piano. I could sit and listen to him play forhours.
It was because of my grandfather that I was inspired to take pianolessons. I remember when I was struggling with a duet and asked him for help. Iwas having problems with counting, because it was hard for me to hear what I wasplaying with my partner playing at the same time. My grandfather went the extramile. He took home my sheet music, learned both parts, recorded them, andtransferred them onto three cassette tapes: one was the Primo (my part), one wasthe Secondo (my partner's) and the third was both of them together. In addition,he taped them at three speeds so I could play the piece faster as I got better.Thanks to him, my recital was a breeze and my teacher was very proud of all I hadaccomplished.
It's that kind of thoughtfulness I find in my grandfatherthat is now a required quality in the man I will marry one day. Not only that,but I intend to model my life after him as well. In tough situations, before Ireact, I first think, What would Grandfather do?
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.