There is a water colour painting of a simple black and white Ontario cottage framed with lush green trees that hangs in the entranceway to my home. It is a beautiful painting but that is not why I have given it a place of prominence in my home. To me, the painting is a reminder of a man who had a profound impact on the woman I have become.
When I was one, my paternal grandmother married my Grandpa Jim, the only grandfather I knew growing up and the resident of that pretty little Ontario cottage. I was blessed to grow up in the same town as my grandparents, my grandfather was a frequent chauffeur to my after school activities and I was a frequent visitor to their home. A civil engineer by training and veteran of WWII, my grandfather was a man of strong opinions. He cultivated in me a love of debate and interest in politics but his greatest gift to me was the gift of self confidence. Inside the walls of their home, my Grandpa encouraged me to pursue my passion for writing, to ask questions and challenge opinions in a respectful manner. He taught me to strive for academic success and to never be afraid of being my own person.
Through his example I learned what it means to be a supportive spouse, to not settle for someone who would not appreciate my worth and push me to be the best person I could be. Sadly, my grandfather passed away before meeting the man I would marry but I think they would have enjoyed each other’s company. Aside from being the only person I have ever met outside of my grandfather who can glance at a map then perfectly navigate an unfamiliar city or highway, my husband pushes me every day to reach my dreams and supports me in my career.