Dictionary

Hereditary

Pronunciation: /huh-red-i-ter-ee/

hereditary“When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember virtue is not hereditary”- Thomas Paine

Yesterday I helped my mother clean the giant piece of kitchen furniture we have. It’s huge, it’s made of white wood and it has both shelves and cabinets. My dad made it himself, so it’s hard to give a proper description of it because it’s one of a kind, but this should suffice.

Anyway, me and my mother decided to take on the challenge of metaphorically turning it upside down and cleaning it like it’s the last thing we’d do before we die. Or actually that was my decision, but I gave her no other choice but to join me. Our plan was this: mum would do the interior of the whole thing and I’d work my magic on the shelves.

Two and a half hours later we were finally done. My parents, especially my father, have a tendency to keep… well, everything! I think we’ve disposed of over 250 paper napkins my dad always brings with him from work (and nobody knows why exactly) that he stashed in different places in the cabinets. Just to paint a picture of how much useless items were stored in that kitchen-closet-thing.
I made my mother look through all the items and all the papers to see what she still needed and what we could throw out, and that’s when she found this description someone wrote about my grandfather (of my father’s side).

In essence, it was a doctor’s indication that my grandfather needed intensive health care because he had a severe form of Alzheimer’s. But the indication covered a short bio about my granddad, where he was born, how he grew up and where he went to school, when he met his wife, when his children were born, et cetera. But also it gave a description of how he was as a person.

I’ve never really known my grandfather, since I am the youngest child of his youngest child, and he was already suffering from Alzheimer’s before I was born. So I’ve never really known what he was like before he got ill. Plus, people play different social roles in their life. Meaning, for instance, I act different as a sister as opposed to how I act when I am around friends or coworkers.
My granddad, despite having a degenerating disease that tore up his mind and memories, was a great grandfather! I have tons of fond memories of him that I cherish very deeply. But that was him as a granddad, I’ve never known him in one of his other social roles. And this piece of paper we found, with that bio of him on it, made me so happy! Because it gave me an image of how he was as a man in general rather that just that old man that always gave me candy and let me play football in his backyard.

My grandfather, turns out, was a perfectionist, like me! He was well respected for the work he did in construction, because he was so good at it. He was wellknown and respected by his coworkers, his family and his friends, for even if he was very harsh or strict at times, he was a good man. An honest man, who hated injustice.

I, too, aim for perfection in everything I do. I, too, receive praise for my hard work. I, too, absolutely loathe injustice of any kind.

I’ve always wondered why I am who I am, and who I got my neurotic quirks from. But now I know.
My grandmother was the sweetest woman I’ve ever known. I always wished I looked like her, even if it was just a teeny tiny bit of me. But now I realise I have a lot in common with her husband, and I am honoured. At least now I understand myself a bit more, and I am happy his best traits were hereditary, and that I got them.

Thank you, grandpa, for being the man you were and giving some of that to me :)

OpaEnOmaI love you both

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