My grandfather, Norman Dumais, taught me many things. Mostly through the stories he told. Sometimes through direct advice. He taught what was important in life. Family. Doing the right thing. Being generous. Working hard. Working smart. Standing up for yourself. Going with the flow. That sort of cliche stuff that grandfathers think is important.
One such teaching occasion occurred right before Grampa Norman and Gramma Rose moved to Florida. We were standing in their kitchen, Grampa and I. My parents were there. So were Aunt Cynthia and Uncle David. And Gramma Rose, of course. I was taking photos with the Canon FT QL 35mm my father brought back from Japan while stationed there in the early 70s. I had pulled it out of the upstairs closet and switched my major to photography earlier that year. My favorite of the bunch is one of Grampa Norman caught mid-laugh, holding a shot of whisky. It’s a great image.
Part of the reason I like it is because of what he said to me while we were standing there.I don’t remember what lead the conversation there. I don’t even remember the exact words. But I remember his point.
“Do what you think is right. No matter what others think.”
I guess he felt the need to give me something important before he left. I agree that it felt like the right opportunity to encourage a grandson. And I’m glad that he did.
It means more to me now then it did that day. Which is true with a lot of gifts we receive. It takes us a bit to learn how to appreciate them. Mostly because we don’t think we need them. But I remember what Grampa Norman wanted me to know. That I am capable of doing something worth doing and that I have what I need to take those actions. I can trust myself. And I don’t need others to think it’s a good idea for it to be the right thing.
Not sure why I’m writing about this right now. But it felt like the right thing to do.