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My Mentor

For the man who gave so much and asked for nothing in return. R.I.P. Grandpa (1928-2017)

My Grandpa on (Right) and his Brother (Left) always went to the Barbershop together.

Everybody has that one person that they idolize, someone that they aspire to be. For some, it is a celebrity; for others, it is an athlete; and for some, it is their own family. The person that I idolize is my grandfather. I idolize him because he lived an interesting life. My grandfather got to grow up in the 1920s, and I find that interesting because I like to ask him what things were like back then, and what his views are on today’s society. I find it interesting because he is a veteran of the Korean War, in fact he was even shot in the foot (that’s not important, I just wanted to add that).

One time while I was visiting him, he showed me his old army footlocker, inside it were photos of him and his army buddies, and a letter from one of his comrades saying that he would be returning home to Hawaii. My grandfather lived a good life, and I am glad that I got to learn from him. I love being able to visit him because his home had so many memories for my brother and I, along with my father. Even though my grandmother is gone, every time we visit his house, it still feels like she is there with us.

Since my Grandmother’s passing (she died in 2007), my grandfather had been alone, but not for long. Everyday my aunt goes and cooks for him, and my cousins are always there, along with their dogs. My dad tries to spend as much time as he can with his father, he always tells me, “I don’t know how much time I have left with him.” To show how much my father respects his father, (they are both Angels fans) my father got my grandfather and him season tickets for the Angels, and during one of the games, on the Jumbotron it read, “Henry Marquez, Angel forever.”

Right about now, we are at the “so what” portion of the essay, my grandfather has been a symbol to me, that you can stay alive for a long time, if you stay in shape. My grandfather has also had an influence on my taste in music, thanks to him, I now enjoy the styles of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, and many more artists. I can say that I have learned a lot of interesting things from him, and I can’t wait to learn even more from him.

Some elderly people are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at around the age of 60—but my grandfather was 88 years old, and has not suffered from Alzheimer’s. Some elderly people have managed to live past 100, but looking back on the shape my grandfather was in, I thank God that I was able to have him around in my life. With him being in my life, I had someone who I could strive to be like in my own life. I respected my Grandfather’s lifestyle, because his house was almost always the same. Because we had so many memories in that house, there was no need to change anything.

As I draw towards a close with this chapter, I want to leave everybody with this: My Grandfather was someone we could all strive to be, he may not have seemed that interesting, but there was more to him than you know. I want to say, "Thank you Grandpa,"—you gave me more wisdom than any person had ever given me. I know that this essay is supposed to go out to whoever our reader is supposed to be, but this chapter is dedicated to the man who had a major influence on me and my brother, this goes out to my mentor. This chapter is dedicated to Corporal Henry Marquez, Korean War veteran, Husband, Father, Grandfather, and an Angel forever.

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