Throughout the years there have been many different heroes. Ulysses S. Grant, Martin Luther King, John Kennedy, and even sports figures like Michael Jordan. However the man I admire most is not so widely known. He is my grandfather, John Gaynor.
I realize he doesn’t quite measure up to these men by some standards. He wasn’t a war hero, though he did serve in the laundry room of a ship at the end of WWII. He wasn’t a great political leader, but a distant relative was the mayor of New York. Finally he wasn’t a sports hero. In his illustrious high school career he scores only two points, on a point after touchdown conversion.
Despite all this he is my hero. He represents family values, hard work, and everything that I consider good in America today.
He has kept our family together in a time when family values are supposedly gone. All together out family numbers seventeen aunts, uncles, and cousins, who all live within a quarter mile radius. We are very close, and often eat and vacation together.
Of my grandfather’s three children, three are now divorced. Despite that neither my cousins nor my immediate family comes from broken homes. My grandfather is the mortar that holds our families together.
When my parents got divorced my grandfather was there for us. On Wednesdays nights when my father works we go to my grandfather’s house for dinner. When we were younger we’d go to his house before school to wait for the bus.
Through this whole divorce my grandfather’s main concern was us, the children. He consoled us and spent the time with us, all the while keeping his own feelings inside. Like a good friend who fall on a grenade for another, this almost killed him. He had a heart attack.
While he was in the hospital, I had time to think about how much he means to me. How will I ever repay a man who has done so much for me but expects nothing? How can I express in words how I feel for him? There is no possible way to do either of these things adequately.
Most of my fondest memories include my grandfather. He has instilled in me a sense of family. I am blessed to be related to a man who is always busy, yet always has time for me; a man who is not an athlete, yet shares with me the joy of sports; a man who still loves his wife very much after forty years; a man, who in every sense of the word is a hero.