💪 My Hero
I'm discovering taking these breaks from the animated series posts might become a bit of the usual. Mostly because this blog is really more therapeutic than anything else. Also I probably spend more time editing them than I would a normal entry so it's nice to shift gears a bit. However if you're following along it's my heart to eventually unpack all the lessons I've learned and hopefully make some friends along the way.
Today I'd like to talk about my hero, my (grandpa) Papa Neil. The older I get the more thankful I am to the people that loved and nurtured me growing up even if that was for a short time. Regardless of how sweet or unkind your childhood was hopefully there was someone or something that made you feel special. This is a very personal topic but I find a great deal of comfort and release sharing this with you. Growing up I had very few positive male role models in my life. Up until the age of ten the most important male figure in my life was my Papa Neil. He would make us grandkids the most elaborate pancakes: from Mikey Mouse shapes to even adding food coloring and creating ninja turtle pancakes. He had a strict rule of only allowing PG and G rated films in his home which meant there was always an array of Disney and animated content in his house. He encouraged me to draw and read. And he always made me feel loved and important. From my earliest memories I loved walking in his shadow. He was the closet thing I had to a loving father in my childhood. My Papa Neil listened to me, took interest in me and inspired me like no man has ever done so. As I grew older our relationship changed, for many reasons, such is life yet looking back at this wonderful, yet at times this imperfect man I feel overwhelmed with gratitude to have been loved by him. My Grandpa Neil passed away in May of 2017 and was buried during Labor Day weekend.
Sometimes life gives us people who we never will truly understand the power of their relationships until they're gone. It's also why I'm so encouraged looking back that I know that much of who I am today is because of him. While I may of had very few positive male role models growing up my Papa Neil taught me how important it is to share that you love someone. I don't have funny hang ups about sharing intimate truths, life's too short! It's this radical freedom to express my hearts desire that has brought forth the greatest relationships and experiences in my life. Because of him I believe I should love the friendships I have, and wholeheartedly love the work that I do. For that he will always be my hero. I'm forever thankful and I miss him so very much.