limitations | relentless
my grandfather years ago would tell me stories of him traveling the world, drinking delicious wines and seeing historical landmarks. you see my grandfather was one of those, I’ll conquer the world before the world conquers me. story goes that he travelled on a train to California at the age of 12. growing up poor, my grandfather, aka Paka, must’ve had an I can do anything attitude. something deep in his stubborn Irish heart that said, a sip of whiskey gives a man the willpower that can conquer any adversity. his brother died in wwii at the young age of 21, this was one of the first stories I heard as a young boy that shaped my view on the world. stories of traveling on the ore ships up and down Lake Michigan. paka would bust out the slideshow projector and show the kids photos he took. after the ore ship days grandpa went on to being a police officer in Berrien county’s boat squadron. i think my fondest memories of my paka are the ones where he and my grandma dance in the living room at family gatherings. as an adult i look back and those moments happened probably less than a handful, but they shaped me. everybody was clapping and laughing, paka was pulling out all the moves, twirls, dips, guy was a my hero. seeing him in the hospital bed yesterday put a lot of things into perspective. firstly, this man is still my hero. so many times in my life I let him down and repeatedly he was still pissed at me 😂 it was like pulling teeth to get the man to love ya as a kid. here I was, the chubby little toe head, just begging to hug my gpa. this guy wanted to give me noogies and scare the piss out of me. secondly, im grateful to know such a man who was relentless in his pursuits. paka taught German on the college level for many years. has to masters degrees and was presented many awards over the years. i pray we get more years with you. you’re an overcomer. a man who when faced with limitations, you’re the guy with a stubborn ole soul that seeks to get past it. it is such an honor to be named after one of the greats.
Love you mucho, Tom.