The Impact of Life
In my experience the more you feel that the life you have been living has been meaningful the more gracefully you approach aging
My grandfather (Papa) was an amazing man. He was a bridge painter that worked on both the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. Growing up I used to ask about it and he would just shrug an say, "It payed the bills." In his eyes it was just a way for him to provide for his family. He always felt that the only thing that he ever did was have a loving family.
As he became older he started to go on all sorts of medications. Especially for his pain. "Everything just hurts, I'm old," He would say. One day my wife and I were telling our friend Bob about him. About how he worked on both bridges and the things that he must have seen. We told Bob that we wanted to interview Papa and get some of his stories on tape. Bob told us that he had a friend that worked for the SF Gate and he was going to contact him about Papa's story.
Sure enough a week later there was a front page article that came out in the paper about Papa. We didn't know how Papa would take this, after all he never really talk about work that much. After the article came out people loved it. the comments online were just amazing and Papa loved to read them. Before the article Papa would get around in a motorized chair and not really walk anymore. After the article he would do half the motorized chair and half walking with a cane. He stopped taking his pain medication and he always had a copy of the article in his pocket. He told me that when he would feel bad he would just read the article. The thought of knowing that his life was so meaningful gave him strength. It gave us all strength. He passed away less then a year later, but we were all happy knowing that towards the end he was in no more pain and he knew how much of an impact his life had. He will always be my hero.
Below is the link to the article about him, just in case it didn't attach correctly.