It has been roughly two weeks since I last posted on here, and recent events have been quite trying. My grandfather recently got out of the hospital for open heart surgery. For privacy reasons, that’s all I feel comfortable saying about that. However, that is not all I want to say about him. He is a wonderful man and has led a very eventful and interesting life. He not only taught in the school district where I wound up spending my K-12 education, but he was also one of the trifecta of teachers who founded the gifted program at the middle school where I went as well. He taught several of my teachers and they wound up having good things to say about him when they taught me, often asking me to say hello next time I saw him. He taught science in the 1960s while his brother, my great uncle, was in the army. His job, combined with the fact that he was married, exempt him from the draft. His brother worked in signal intercepts along the border between what was then East and West Germany. He can’t tell me exactly what he did, but that is no surprise, as he described several times where he met CIA field officers. I digress, my grandfather has been almost a second father after my parents were divorced. He taught me a lot of useful skills, both academic and just general hard work. He was a teacher, so it really is no surprise that he was able to help me learn. For now he is recovering, and I hope his recovery continues to go well. This past weekend was also my father’s birthday. While he is to blame for my parents’ divorce, I have long since forgiven him for it. Staying angry just is not worthwhile, especially at someone who never stopped loving his children. He also led an interesting life. He was a military kid, and he moved around more than a few times in his youth, though from what I gathered, he spent most of his childhood either in Texas or Alaska. He joined the Army after high school and wound up becoming a paratrooper. He was relatively lucky not to have been deployed, as he was in for four years during the 1980s. In the 1980s, the United States military in general, and the 82nd airborne among other units specifically, were involved in the invasions of Grenada and Panama. He was lucky enough to serve his four years between those two invasions and never see combat. That said, he was almost blown up by a grenade during training. He still laughs when he tells that story and I always credit him with, among other things, my rough sense of humor. His brother had an interesting military career as well, but they do not get along. I find that unfortunate because my brother and I get along very well. Now on to my brother. He has had a rough go at it, but he is slowly but surely pulling himself up. He used to swim competitively and actually held a record for our high school’s swim team for a few years, though that has since been broken. It is worth noting that he graduated high school at 17 thanks to starting school a year early. He initially went to the University of Delaware after high school for engineering. He swam well, but he did not study well and wound up dropping out. He then tried to enter the US coast guard as a rescue swimmer, but that also didn’t pan out due to medical issues. From there he seemed to feel stagnant. He was depressed, and felt trapped. He took some courses at a community college, and some of his years there coincided with mine. He now works two jobs, has discovered a talent and passion for writing, and seems to be interested in attempting to get a degree in engineering again. I hope he succeeds. Back to the top, there is my grandmother. Some may call her eccentric, I call her brave. She is still a registered nurse, even though she does not practice anymore. I think she will try to maintain her status as a registered nurse until she is 80. She worked in both the public school system and the prison system as a nurse. Among her stories was that of one prisoner who had a particularly foul mouth. “Oh he’d go on shouting ‘mother****’ this and ‘son of a *****’ that, but at the end he’d always shout ‘Sorry Nurse!'” Is one that always elicits a laugh. My grandfather taught her to drive. He also taught my mother, my uncle, my brother, and myself how to drive. She has always taken good care of us, and for that I am always grateful. My mother and her brother are both insanely intelligent. I do not say that to brag, but as a simple statement of fact. My uncle is an aerospace engineer working for NASA, and my mother as the director for biostatistics at Merc. In her study for her master’s degree, she met my father when he signed up for her research study. She pushed me and my brother hard to succeed. At first I did not appreciate how hard she was pushing me, but I now realize that she was only doing that to make sure I wound up having a good work ethic. I feel blessed to have been raised and shaped by such wonderful people. Either later today or tomorrow I will continue telling the story of Grzegorzh. Right now, though, I will finish out this post.