“If you had to be trapped in an elevator with anyone of your choice, who would it be?”
I think many people would answer this question in a similar way. Who have I always wanted to meet? Who would I love to strike up a conversation with that I otherwise would never meet. I think some would say the president, because he knows so much that we do not, in hope that he would share the secrets of the white house with us. Other would choose that super celebrity that they always had a thing for, in the hope that given the opportunity they could make them fall in love with them. Other would just pick the most famous person they can think of and have little reason as to why they think that this one person, is the person they would choose to spend this time with.
Me… I don’t need to spend a few hours with Scarlett Johansson or Beyonce. I don’t need to try and debunk all of worlds conspiracies with the president of the United States. For me, the most entertaining and interesting person of all, that I would hands down choose in this scenario. That person would be my Papa. My dads, dad.
Like many of his generation, he grew up through school, went off to the RAF for a few years, returned in the old romantic era, fell in love, played in a band, had kids, and retired with his loving wife, surrounded with grandchildren, who in turn are now at the beginning of their long and every changing journey through life.
His journey, may seem similar to millions of others, insignificant in a way. He wasn’t a Forrest Gump typed character, that has had more life experience than the worlds oldest man could even claim. But he does have one quality that makes his journey through life unique. One quality, that actually does make him rise above even Forrest Gump and his story.
My papa could tell a story…
Ive heard him tell so many, yet I look forward to hearing them again. Stories of when he was in the desert in the RAF, and was on watch duty. About the time he rang the bell as there were headlights in the distance, that turned out only to be the sun rising over the sandy dunes. Of when he played the accordion in a ceilidh band, in the middle of the era of romance, when the old romantics waltzed every weekend and lived life how it should be lived.
But the best thing about him is that, given his old age, he has lived so many days, that it isn’t possible to have heard every story he has to tell. Which means that every time I get to see him, new unheard stories ( even to my Gran), surface. The family sits round him and listens to him.
I, like my papa, already have stories of my own, and I tell them as often as I can. He could make any story worth listening to, which in turn, makes him so very worth listening to.
That is why I don’t need to share that elevator with a celebrity, or someone that I might never otherwise get the chance to meet. Because no-one that I could choose, would be more worthy or worth it , than spending time with him.
Maybe the reason I like to hear his stories so many times over and over again, is because I know that he won’t always be around to tell them. Therefore, I will be responsible for passing on these memories, which are, put simply – his legacy. I only hope I can do his tales the justice that they deserve, and tell them half as good as he does.
Because.. honestly … in my opinion, they are so worth sharing.
Thanks for reading and I ask.. this christmas, take a little extra time to remember those gran parents who are no longer with you, and if you are fortunate enough to have them with you, listen to their stories, however many times you have heard, however much you really don’t want to wait to reach the ending you all know is coming. Please, just smile and wish them a heartfelt merry christmas, because in years to come, you might be sitting with your own grandchildren telling them about a year you sat their, with your grandfather or grandma, and tell them the story and it will mean the everything in the whole world to you that they listened and laughed with you for just those few quick minutes.