Wednesday, 16 September 2009

This is what shifted...

I have been reading the (in)courage posts and their ideas of hope, love, faith and motivation have been beautiful to read. I decided to do one for my based on someone very special to me.

When I was 5 years old my Granddad exhaled his last breath and he left behind a granddaughter who idolised him. Who still does. Still to do this very day I do not remember it vividly and I am not sure as to whether it was my age or the fact my hero had left this Earth not answering my never ending questions affected it. I am guessing it was both.

At the wake I clearly recollected everyone talking about the memories they shared, the quirky things he did and how he would remind everyone that strawberry season was looming. I remember sitting on a chair in my mandatory black dress with white roses emblazoned on the hem. I reminisced that it would have been better if they were tulips instead- his favourite flower. I didn’t comprehend it was then that I realised he wasn’t coming back to say goodbye. He wasn’t coming home to take me strawberry picking one last time. He was not returning to take the dogs out for yet another walk. He wasn’t visiting to tell me another story, another fairytale of what would happen in my life as I grew up.

He had a knack for that. He always knew what to say and for a five year old little girl who soaked in all his presence at every encounter I believed every word. Of course I was going to meet someone who would sweep me off my feet like the one in Snow White did. I was certainly going to work in the Castle Grove (pub) when I was older because that was where all the bouncy castles, slides and swings were. The fun radiated from that place every summer. And of course I was going to do well at school because they had an annual Grandparents day that I could show my Granddad how many gold stars I had accumulated that week. He told me I could travel the world, all I had to do was swim past the horizon on the sea and I would be in another country admiring the culture it had to offer. He was being harmless. He was the epitome of everything I had been told in story format, unknowingly, been made to believe. He instilled the drive and hope that all the above would happen and never falter. Fairytales did come true and all I had to do was wait…

Yet as I grew up I came to learn that instead of expecting school to come easily, instead of expecting I would find my dream career instantaneously, instead of expecting the right guy would turn up I was doing something that I had never been ‘taught.’


To wish for something with the expectation of its fulfilment.

Sometimes our hopes flourish and sometimes our hope just fades and we feel defeated.

Last week I mentioned something had shifted. I did not see the light and there was no dramatic change. Just my perspective, that’s all. I was on the beach reading a book called ‘How it Ends’ by Laura Wiess. It was a captivating read about a story of a teenage girl who just wanted to find love. The cant-live-without-each-other kind of love. Yet she didn’t realise that that love laid in the spirit of her adoptive grandmother who had weaved all these fairytales to hide the truth. The truth of her heart wrenching past on how hope ends and how it begins. How people are never who they seem but love you so much they are willing to go their grave just to make you happy.

I recall finishing that book and walking to the shoreline. I remember looking at the horizon identifying exactly what my Granddad had told me 14 years ago.

‘All you have to do swim to the horizon…’

When your five years old it is so easy to achieve that statement because he told me I could. He just forgot, behind his beautiful persona, that there will be many waves and sometimes I would be paddling forever. I could always hope to get to my destination but sometimes it is okay if you don’t.

Hope doesn’t come easily.

Yet, it is so easy to place hope in a sentence. I hope I pass my next test. I hope it does not rain today. I hope to get married and have children. I am sure you have reached a certain point in your life where you have felt hope had diminished?

It sounds trite and it may be pretty obvious. Then again if it is then why do we hope and wish in the first place?

Until now, I have realised that my Granddad has instilled something in me, innocently, that he left to work out for myself. I hoped my relationship with my ex worked out but now through the hope in knowing I will meet someone else someday, I realised that love was blind back then. I hoped that my second year of nursing would have come with more prosperity but instead the waves came crashing down on me. To point I felt like I was drowning and there was no hope of feeling like I would breathe again. I used to hope that my Granddad would come back and ‘explain himself’ as to why he made me believe such fairytales, such rubbish when I was in utter despair as to why I was so na├»ve to have believed him!

I may have been five but he made an impression that would last to this very moment in time.

Now I hope that he is sitting in a dainty strawberry field admiring that he did succeed in teaching me that, yes, life is about fairytales.

But only if you hope for the expectation of its fulfilment.

Not require for it to happen because you were told it would.

Hope is possible and I hope that what my Granddad told me will come true. I am not counting on it.

But it’s promising. =)

Now, can I hear an Amen Granddad on your 79th birthday? As you taught me the hard way and you know what? I love you so much for it and happy birthday!


I do what I want! said...

You really out did yourself on this post. I loved it. It was so filled with your heart and a valuable life lesson we all need to know. My favorite part (well one of them) was when you said that there will be many waves and you could be paddling forever and you always hope to get to your destination but it's okay if you don't. That really spoke to me girl! You are right when you say hope doesn't come easily. Everything happens for a reason and it is only when we look back we finally understand.

Happy Bday to your grandad. I bet he is dancing in strawberry fields and looking down on you smiling! :) thanks for being an inspiration.

Callie Nicole said...

It sounds like you had a great relationship with your grandfather. I enjoyed reading this - I hope that all your wishes come true someday. I'm praying for you too. *smile*

Alex(andra) said...

This... You said it perfectly. Hope is a beautiful thing. Great post.

Janet said...

What an incredible tribute to a man who obviously meant the world to you! Happy Birthday to your Grandad and thank you for sharing his message of love and hope!

Samantha said...

You always amaze me with your posts. So from the heart and full of passion and love.
He sounded like a wonderful man, and obviously meant the world to you. Happy Birthday to him.

Amen Granddad!!

Suki said...

That's a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing it.
To hope is never easy and deep down in our hearts we all do!

Stacie said...

what a beautiful post. i am sure your granddad would be proud of you.

Jennie said...

That was absolutely beautiful and well written. Happy Birthday, Granddad! What an impression you made!

Death Wears Diamond Jewellery said...

gorgeous post! my grandfather died when i was 5 as well, it brought back alot of memories.

Brooke said...

Such a great post, it's taken me until today to finally finish reading it - quite emotional.

I think that when your hope is strong it pushes you to set goals and achieve them. Thank you for that lesson as hope is something my brother needs right now.

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