I remember this topic from one of my English classes in high school. Back then, being into pop stars, I chose Cher. It’s interesting how your perspective of things change as you grow older isn’t it.
Today, if I was asked, I would say my grandpa. I know, there are so many great statesman and wonderful human beings, but, my grandfather taught me what love is really all about. He grew up on the East side of Boston in crime filled area known as Roxbury.
His mother was a seamstress and his father worked for the mill. They were poor but still managed to feed their six children. My grandfather would say that every day there was some kind of a gang fight going on in the neighborhood. There, you grew up either tough, or dead.
My grandpa grew up as a tough kid in order to survive, and according to him; he was in many scuffles and skirmishes. He got arrested once when he was sixteen for busting a beer bottle over someone’s head during a bar fight. He was promptly arrested by Boston’s finest, and taken to a holding cell for processing.
Here is where the story really begins, he swears while he was in lockup, a voice came to him in his sleep that said, “Lay down your hate and Follow Me.” Those seven words, whether he dreamt them or not, changed his life forever.
He became a changed man. Never really being very religious before, he now started going to church as often as he could, and he became a kind and more gentle man. He would help with community projects, feed the poor in the shelters around the neighborhood, and always offer his assistance to others whenever he could.
He would tell me these stories when I would visit him, and the love that exuded from this man would just pass right through me to my soul. I miss my grandpa, I wish he was still here, and yet, the love that he imparted to me has made me a stronger and more loving person. Thank you for making me the person I am today. I love you Gpa.