Ever since that moment, I can say that I know first hand, what unconditional love feels like. That’s pretty good for being less than a minute old.
My grandparents were overjoyed to the point of tears at my birth. I was a pretty lucky kid. Little did I know just how lucky I was to have such incredible people love me.
My grandfather, Robert Osia (aka Pawpaw), was a truck driver for decades. He was the father of two and a loving husband. He decided that he wanted to take care of me and be my babysitter. My parents were all for the idea, but on one condition: he had to get rid of his nasty smoking habit.
My Pawpaw loved his family very much and wanted to shake his addiction. He had been told to quit for over 20 years, and nothing had really helped him kick the habit. When my parents gave him this ultimatum, not only did he quit cold turkey, but he also retired at age 50 to take care of me.
Every day I am thankful that something inside him gave him that inner strength, because if it hadn’t, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
My grandmother also had an equal hand in who I am.
Picking up extra shifts at the Chrysler factory in Fenton, my grandmother, Ruby Osia, the Mawmaw to my Pawpaw, is a hard worker. She worked so that she and Pawpaw could spoil me rotten, which remains greatly appreciated by yours truly.
Years went by and my relationship with my grandparents strengthened. Even through the ugliness of my parent’s separation, they stuck by my side and always went above and beyond to know, as well as ensure, that I was well taken care of.
With time comes the aging process. With age came many health issues for my Pawpaw. Picking me up from school went from the norm, to a rarity, to impossible. Wrestling around with him went from him holding back, to me being the one who had to be conscious of my strengths and his weaknesses.
For years, through my denial and my grandparents' protection of me, these little things were able to stay somewhat hidden until reality smacked me in the face, hard.
Weekends at Mawmaw and Pawpaw's’ changed to camping out in hospital rooms, but the amazing thing was that they were still the goofy and fun Mawmaw and Pawpaw who were so alive and let laughter lead them through life. Sadly, this year things began to take a turn for worse.
In April, the last repetitive jokes and retold stories were told, as my Pawpaw unfortunately passed.
Even though there's a sad ending to my adventures with Mawmaw and Pawpaw, my grandma and I remain close despite the absence of my grandfather. I still very much feel my grandpa with me in everything I do. If that isn’t inspiration; I don't know what is.
I aspire to love people like my Pawpaw did and to have the strength and caring nature that my Mawmaw still possesses.
My daily inspiration will forever remain my Mawmaw and Pawpaw.