All my grandfather ever did was share his love for everyone, except my mom. He didn’t like her. He thought she just went out and partied all the time.
Genetics. Hmm… Maybe that’s why I spent so much time partying. Who in the world knows?
All he ever did was love everyone around him. He was loved everywhere he went. In my elementary school, he volunteered in the kitchen. Everyone smiled whenever he was around and sought solace in him. He wrote letters back and forth to his friends. He would have phone calls for hours on end with his friends all throughout the country. All he ever did was smile and share his love.
I can’t think of a single person who hated who he was.
I don’t really understand how he did it either, considering he went through three wars–WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. He fought in the front lines, never contracted PTSD, and traveled the world. He even went through two divorces before finding my grandmother, who already had children of her own.
He did something that many of us have difficulty doing. He opened up his heart and loved everyone he ever met unconditionally, and he showed it every way he could.
I forgot about who he was for a over a decade of my life, because I didn’t understand his Alzheimer’s; his death was so tragic. I repressed all my memories. Reflecting back, I wish I had gotten the proper therapy to understand his death, instead of going through years of soul searching.
For that, I am embarrassed, because I didn’t turn out into the man he had raised me to become.
However, not a day goes by now where I don’t try my best to live up to his image. I want to love everyone. I want to be loved by everyone. One day, I hope that I can share my love and joy as he did. For all eternity, my grandfather, Robert L. Landis, will be my hero.
Originally posted on Quora.
Leonard Kim is Managing Partner at InfluenceTree. At InfluenceTree, Leonard and his team teach you how to build your (personal or business) brand, get featured in publications and growth hack your social media following.