I can't tell you how many times I've learned an (unintentional) valuable lesson from them.
I learned to be polite. I understood the meaning of a dollar (still working on that one though!). How blessed we are to have a warm hearth and food in our bellies. To save money to buy something instead of borrowing outside our means. To keep on learning (my late 80s grand-papa has a facebook account!). To be honest on all accounts. To open your home to family & friends.
It felt like they always had someone coming over...to chat with...to eat a homemade meal with...their door was always open. Without conditions. How lovely is that?
Nowadays, we close our doors & worry about people coming over at the most inopportune time. I know I'm guilty of that.
My grandparents have faith. Whether you believe in God or not, they showed me how beautiful it can be to surrender to "whatever power" there is and have that unshakeable/unbreakable belief. Over the years, I've lost that belief & part of me is sad about that. Sad that I'm further distanced from my cherished memories of praying in French with my grand-maman before going to bed. "Je vous salut Marie, pleine de grace..."
And now they are in their twilight years & I fervently hope & wish that all those lessons they inspired don't go with them.
They were the ones that saw the best in me. Knew I could reach for the stars if I wanted to.
I love you. Je t'aime avec tout mon coeur. Pour toujours.