We all have people we look up to, follow by example and live in awe of. I’d like to share a few famous faces (and some less so) who I am inspired by. I’d love to know who you’re inspired by – leave them in the comments below!
Ok, so bear with me on this one. It’s easy to forget how awesome the ‘Older’ generation are. That they haven’t always been old, slightly grumpy, a little forgetful and useless at technology! I’d like to use my Grandpa as an example (he won’t mind!), but no doubt it will be the same for your elder relatives and members of your family, even the old woman crossing your road or holding up the queue in the supermarket.
I realise I’m using the word ‘old’ a lot, but that’s what society tends to do – write a large proportion of the world off because they are getting on. And then we are shocked when they prove us wrong, reveal that they had quite an extraordinary life, or excel far beyond our ability.
I was stunned to silence when my Grandpa told me about the Patrician. I knew that he’d served in the Merchant Navy, but I’d never thought much beyond that. I’d never thought that his story went further than that.
He had been serving as Fourth Engineer on the ship, SS The Patrician, sailing on the Straits of Gibraltar. After over a year on the sea, he was on his second voyage on the Patrician when it hit an American ship (the Santa Emily). In the thick fog, he ended up in the water, attempting to swim towards the life boats and to safety.
When I asked him about that night, my Grandpa’s response was something that has stayed with me, and will do for some time. He asked me about my faith in a higher being. He said that his belief in a Superior Being was rooted firmly to that night. Because he felt the side of the ship with his foot and knew for certain that he would be pulled under with it to a watery grave. That he couldn’t outswim the suction from the ship.
He lost three birthday presents from his 21st birthday on the Patrician when she sank. Three officers lost their lives in the Straits of Gibraltar. Not only is this a story of how precious and short life is, but how the most unlikely of stories can be part of the most unlikely of characters. We keep saying, “Never judge a book by its cover”, but we are all guilty of it sometimes.
My Grandpa is an inspiring gentleman, who would make you (a stranger he’d never met) smile because that’s what he does. You would never know the life he’s lived as he crosses the road.