January 7, 2011

My Grampa was my guru.

I hope this will be a keepsake for everyone who knew him and an inspiration to all those who didn’t.

A guru is someone, who in my opinion, should teach you about life, the fun parts and the hard. Teach you deep values and how to love life, share experiences with you that you will never forget and that will help you forge your future. It’s a person that you should feel great love towards, respect and infinite appreciation.

My guru was my Grampa Joe! As an innocent young child would think, the people in our life will always be there and I think I still thought that of my grampa until he left us December 26Th, 2010. Although I feel that there is a deep hole in my heart since he has left, I am writing this article to celebrate his life and everything he has brought into mine.

The luck I had.

If anyone ever had the chance to meet Grampa Joe, they loved him. So many people would tell me that I was so lucky to have a grand father like him; and I was. Since I was a small child I have infinite memories with him, at his beautiful paradise in the middle of the woods where he retired at forty five years old. My grampa was an engineer, not by profession but by nature. As a young teenager, he started his own company called ‘Dominion Steel Works’ where he built so many great things, including the first prototype for the metro in Montreal. He dedicated his time to be the best boss that ever existed and lived that dream until he was about forty five. Joe began to work at a very young age as he needed to help his mom support the family and the kids. He was a strong man on all levels. He married the love of his life, Lise and had two beautiful daughters, Hélène (my mom) and Diane which he raised mostly on his own when his wife passed at the age of 38. The family continued to grow and so did all the wonderful experiences.

My grampa built anything and everything. Wood work was his passion along with playing music. We had countless parties filled with guitar playing, violin, piano and accordion. There was dancing, signing and often a glass of scotch in grampa’s hand. From his music came my passion for Johnny Cash! I discovered Johnny Cash through grampa Joe and his best friend Gerry Lemieux. The played together like there was no tomorrow and I have to say grampa Joe lived each day like there was no tomorrow. We were always aloud to join in. Grampa would give us spoons and we would sit next to him and tap those spoons together. Even though it sounded horrible he would applaud us as if we had just played the best music he had ever heard.

What I learnt from him.

The most important thing that grampa Joe taught me was to be present with the people in your life and you will give them all that they need. Grampa was so present in our lives and that is why it is so hard at this moment to know that he is not with us anymore. He was without a doubt the best life teacher I have had and is what makes me the person and yoga teacher I am today.

Thanking him.

I want to thank grampa Joe for so much. For helping me to stop smoking as a teenager, learning how to have a real good time, appreciating life with all that you have. He taught me that family and friends are what make life rich, that time heals everything, how to have a sense of logic and common sense, trusting and believing in my path and all the advice he has ever given me.

What I will miss the most.

His jokes and word games, his strong hand shake, him greeting us outside on the balcony even if it was -30 degrees, him waving goodbye at the window as we left, his spaghetti sauce, Christmas at his place and all the family dinners and parties with him, his music and the comfort in his presence. I will miss his story telling and his positive attitude. I will miss his woodworking gifts and his precision in everything he did. All I hope is to one day be with him again.

And so to this I say cheers to his life that made ours so wonderful!

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