My grandfather and I... Tight like glue. Good men exist... Perfect men do not.
The topic: My grandfather: Tight like glue
Subtopic: Good men exist… “perfect men do not”.
My grandfather was not related to me by blood but he has loved me, taken care of me, and given me the tools I needed as if I was. He never treated me like his step-grandchild. He never announced me as such either. To him, I was his grandbaby shortcake, a nickname of endearment he gave to me when I was young. He is one of the main reasons I know real love when I see it. The love and sacrifice he had for my grandmother were unmatched. There is no doubt in my mind he was a great man. He had his faults just like any man but he never pretended to be perfect. Who was who he was without apology. I know so many people knew different versions of this man but I know, if you truly knew him they would come to the same conclusions. Which is: He loved his family, He provided for his family, he never gave up on his family.
James Faniel sr. was two different people and I think when I was younger it was harder for me to understand it because we were so close. So, I couldn’t think about the possibility of him having to be that provider and waking up just before the sun came up to get ready for work only to make it back home after I would get back from school. He was exhausted. I mean at the time I would spend so much time with him when he would just stay to himself, eat and go to sleep. I thought he was being mean. The weekend would come and he would be the life of the party. We would always joke way too much and end up getting yelled at by my grandmother for us being so goofy. Those were truly the days.
My grandfather showed me a great example of how a man is supposed to love a woman, how a father is supposed to care for his children and grandchildren. He was serious when he had to be but fun-loving and goofy at the same time. He supported me in whatever I chose to do 200 percent.
On the other hand, my biological grandfather and the relationship I had with him was pretty much non-existent. I mean to be a man who has no responsibility towards his own, never quite sat right with me and I heard of the abuse my grandmother suffered at the hands of him and it made me dislike him for a very long time. I couldn’t wrap my head around how he was the complete opposite of my “step-grandfather”? Yet, he wanted respect and recognition as if he was doing all he could.
Another man (My Step-Grandfather) had the responsibilities that were his but my bio-grandfather showed no respect toward him. I won’t lie and say that it wasn’t infuriating at times. In my entire life, I only had them both in the same house and gathering once in my life as a teenager. After my grandmother had passed away my aunt had thanksgiving and they were both there. I guess it would be something to remember when my aunt told me to make my grandfather a plate. I made James (my step-grandfather) a plate and took it to him. I was abruptly told that I was supposed to make my grandfather a plate and I simply replied “I did.” I mean what else could I have done in that situation. The other grandfather was a stranger to me. Apart from me, I wished that I had gotten to know him some. I mean to have your blood-related grandfather pass away and you're not crying because you don’t know him at all. That is a tough pill to swallow. I guess that relationship did teach me an appreciation for my ability to still have a grandfather/father figure who loved and supported me in spite of that.
As a teenager, after my grandmother passed away, I was angry I was hurt and honestly, I pushed James away to go live with my Aunt. I felt like it was inevitable that I would lose him too if he continued to raise me. I made a permanent decision based on a temporary feeling. I know there is a good chance my life would have been different. I mean honestly looking back I saw that the strong man who raised me wasn’t as strong anymore. He had two strokes and could no longer work. Not being able to provide the lifestyle we were accustomed to, he was put in a position down-size his life after his wife was gone, and I left a couple of months later. I never considered how much that truly broke his heart. I mean his reason for living and happiness for over a century was torn away from him. I couldn’t even imagine how that would make him feel.
I was in a totally different City but he would make sure that when I would come to Los Angeles especially when I was in the hospital he would come and spend as much time as possible with me. I can remember being hospitalized at seventeen years old and the nurse treating me badly. He took multiple buses to Children's hospital just to come to advocate for me and sit with me so that I wouldn’t feel alone. This was the type of man, the type of father he was to me. I was very fortunate to have him in my life. I couldn’t imagine growing up and going my entire life without him there for me the way he was. I received the love and support that I needed from a father figure and he never once made me feel like an orphan. He never even made me feel like a grandchild.
As a young adult, my grandfather and I kept our close relationship. I was in a different city but would still make time to go and see him when I could. We would have long talks and laughs over lunch. I couldn’t help but feel like he never fully could heal from losing my grandmother. I understood that because I didn’t truly heal from her loss either. It was something we shared in common. My Grandpa was sick and never told me about his concerns or that he wasn’t able to get to the doctor for over a year after he moved. I felt terrible. He was in stage four stomach cancer. I didn’t have the opportunity to assure him that he could have caught it early enough to survive. I was angry with him and I had so many questions. Most of which he didn’t even know the answer to. It all came down to him no longer wanting to live a life without my grandmother. I was pregnant with my daughter going back and forth to the city where he was, I was speaking to his doctors and trying to advocate for him because he couldn’t do so for himself. He waited until my baby was one month old before he passed away. I know he did because he knew that I was having a high-risk pregnancy and the emotional stress of losing him, would have been too much for me.
He was always thinking about me, putting my needs first. I loved him so much for that and as I grew older I appreciated him more for it. He showed me what a good man really looks like.
Good Men Exist:
What qualities I have to recognize that qualify a man to be good.
A good man should be able to sacrifice, protect, provide, love, guide.
What qualities my grandfather had that I know make a good man
My grandfather had great qualities like being Funny, sometimes joking too much.
Great father… father figure
Knows how to lead his family the right path at all times
Knows how and when to invest in his wife and kids
“Perfect men do not:”
Have their own traumas and triggers they refuse to accept and/or change them
Not really trustworthy (can’t trust him with the three P’s Peace of mind, Peace in your heart, Peace in your spirit.)
I am so glad that I am able to know the difference between these types of men. I saw the example of both of these types of men going forward with my life. Below is my co-host MaMa Fe-Fe free game when you are involved in things to consider about the steps in a relationship to take with yourself and your partner.
MaMa Fe-Fe Input
Ideal of what is prefect
Good men vs Prefect men
Give relationships time to develop and grow
Get to know a person
Ask questions at the beginning and throughout dating
Trust is earned
Slow down, don’t be in a hurry
Dedicated to the greatest grandfather ever James Faniel Sr. Rest in Peace.