We offer stories that will touch your heart and refresh your day with smiles, warm memories, an occasional tear - and a reminder of the power of love
A car loomed large right in front of me - I was going to crash!
You may remember what I have shared about the day that changed my life.
If you have read my sample stories of "Days in the life of a grandpa" before coming to this web page, you will know this story.
If you have come across this web page without reading about the day that changed my life, I will repeat the story here....
I lost a lot that day. My income, part of my identity, and my job - which I took great pride in, and enjoyed immensely....
Everything changed in a split-second of grinding and collapsing metal.
But eventually I gained a lot.
Before I briefly tell you what happened that day, first let me tell you what I learned through that accident that changed my life.
I learned this secret:
Every adversity carries within it the seed of equal or greater benefit.
This principle will never banish all sorrow. Nothing can do that. But it can transform setbacks and sorrow into glorious achievements and opportunities for growth on every level of your life — if you'll persistently look for that all-important seed of benefit.
Once I learned to look for good in bad situations, I realized there is plenty of good to be found.
Good — even triumph — can come from anything, as long as you're willing to look for it.
Here's what started me down this hard road to eventually discovering this truth.
He ended up in the next hospital bed....
The driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel. For some reason his van drifted off the freeway and rolled over in the grassy median. He was seriously injured.
An Advanced Life Support Paramedic unit rushed the seriously injured driver of the van to the nearest trauma hospital.
A few hours later, one of the two paramedics that had worked to save the man's life was lying in the next bed in the trauma unit - badly injured himself.
Off shift and on his way home, the paramedic's car was hit head-on by a driver who suddenly made an illegal left-hand turn into his path.
He was rushed to the same hospital by his own paramedic unit.
His injuries included a head injury that kept him from being able to return to his job.
Suddenly life changed. Gone was the excitement of a challenging career on the front-lines of emergency medical response.
Here daily were on-going headaches and dizziness, with some memory loss. He was unable to function in the crowded or noisy environments that he had thrived in before.
What would fill the void in his life?
That paramedic was me.
In the years after the accident, our three married sons and one married daughter began to expand their families.
The good that came out of adversity
I decided to deepen my relationship with my growing family of grandchildren.
Right now there are 11.
I still find it hard sometimes to be around a busy family gathering. Even with the children usually well-behaved, even the noise of multiple conversations can be overwhelming. I can find it hard to focus on the conversation I am trying to have with ONE family member.
I try to enjoy these family times when we are all together. But sometimes it's hard.
What I HAVE found is that I can enjoy one-on-one time with each grandchild.
My aim is to take one grandchild out each week for "a walk with grandpa". We go for a walk to a special park by a river, then go for ice-cream or a snack.
The closeness that has grown between me and each grandchild is something special.
The times we enjoy together are fun, entertaining, and sometimes hilarious.
There is a special bond of love between this grandpa and each of them.
My wife and I also enjoy looking after different ones together to give our married kids a break. They appreciate being able to escape for an occasional evening out, knowing their children are safe and happy with Grandpa and Grandma.
I have started to write about some of the times I share with my grandchildren.
The fun times. The activities. The challenges. My thoughts on what it means.
I have decided to call these stories "Days in the Life of a Grandpa".
What is it all about? Believing that a grandpa can make a difference in the life of his grandchildren. That grandchildren can fill a life with meaning and joy. And that together a grandpa and his grandchildren can share adventures and special times that will leave memories of joy and love imprinted in their minds as an anchor for all times.
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