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My Grandfather

If you know me, or are close to me, you would know that I am happiest when it is raining and storming outside. Nice and sunny weather is alright, but it doesn’t give me the wholesome comfort that lightning provides for me. This hasn’t always been this way. When I was a very young child the rain made me sad, and just made me sleepy and maybe even wanted to cry. But when I was still a child, not yet a preteen, my grandfather was struck my lighting. Again, if you knew me or are close to me you would know that my grandfather was, and is, the most important person in my life. I loved him so much, and think about him every single day, and miss him so much. He died three years ago. He was an amazing man. He was so passionate about education and the earth. He was in love the woman I consider to be my grandmother while he was married to his first of four wives. Eventually the timing was right and they were able to be together. He also loved me. I know for a fact that I was his favorite grandchild, the one he was the closest to, the one who he had the strongest bond with. I loved and love him so much. I find it incredible that he was struck by a lightning bolt, straight out of the sky, and survived. This always amazed me. Think about the incredible amount of power, heat and electricity that each lightning bolt holds, going through the flesh of an older gentleman, inevitably ruining nerves and shooting sparks out of fingertips, and the man still lived. He lived through so much pain, emotionally, through his life, and always had a smile. But this was different. The amount of physical pain he encountered that surely should have killed him. The thing that I always wondered about it is how? How did he possibly survive that? It’s a medical anomaly that I will never understand, of course. And why, of all the places lighting could have struck, did it strike the man I admired the most in the world. Another anomaly in itself, really. You would think after my grandfather was struck by lightning I would fear storms, and dread the rain, or even make me even sadder than it did before. But the thuds of thunder and the flashes of lightning bring me to peace. They make me think of my grandfather, and how strong he was, physically and emotionally, and it gives me strength. Every time I see lightning light up the sky, I think of my grandfather’s happiness. Lighting up the world, if only for a second, for all the world to see. I see his smile in the light, and I also see my own smile, because ours were the same, which is probably my favorite thing in the world. And how they say that lightning never strikes in the same place twice? That reminds me of my grandfather too. Of his life and his time. When my grandfather would make a mistake, or say or do something foolish, he would acknowledge he made a mistake. He would keep his head high, learn from his experiences and never look back to that again, because you only live once, and why live that with so much regret for something you cannot change. To me, every time lightning reaches the ground and strikes, it is a lesson to me, from my grandpa. To do something (as in strike the ground) and learn, and then move on (and strike in another place). Lightning brings me the greatest sense of comfort in the entire world. No song or experience can ever bring me as much joy as each bolt of lightning. Right now, in my home, in the city I live in, in my home state, in the only country I’ve ever been in, it is raining, thundering and lightening outside. My heart is beaming with love and happiness with every droplet that hits the shutters and every flash I see outside of the window pane. I am at peace with the world because I know my grandfather is with me right now as it is storming. I do not think my grandfather is up in heaven or reincarnated into another life form. My grandfather’s life lives on through something he loves. Through the stories I tell and through the rain. My grandfather lives on through nature as the hardest physical ailment he overcame, whistling through the sky, but only hitting the ground when the time is just right.

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