My maternal grandpa (n dad of a #missingVeteran
) passed prior to Christmas at the age of 74.
After his only son, #NavyVeteran #honorablydischarged
, went missin more than two decades ago due to #PTSD
suffered while servin in #IndianNavy
, grandpa worked full time n provided for grandma until his last day.
When I fell behind on repaying my #studentloans
, grandpa sold his house n paid 'em off. He loved education. He was the 1st in his village to get today's equivalent of Bachelors in #ElectricalEngineering
. He got me cuz he was a struggling student at 1 point.
Some friends, relatives n neighbors ridiculed him for sellin his house n said 'Naveen would totally abandon u n never come back from America' to which he replied in our native language #Telugu
, "Naa manavadi gurinchi naaku telusu" which translates to 'I know what my grandson is made of'. Was gon buy him back his house once I do well enough but haven't. I will!
He saw my high points (worked as Senior #BusinessAnalyst
at State of #Maine #DepartmentofEducation
) and extreme low points (struggling to eat twice a day in #America
as a student) but he never doubted my integrity n that was more important to him than wealth.
He wanted me to get Masters degree after I graduated w/ BS in Electrical Engineering from #UWMilwaukee
in 2010. Recently promised him that Im workin on enrollin in #gradschool
n will get my #PhD
. Still remember how happy that made him feel.
Still in shock but a befitting way to honor his sacrifice n life's work is by following his example of -- taking good care of #health
, stellar #workethic
and most importantly, expertise n command over finances.
My life's conquest has been to find enough people who believe in me as much as I believe in myself and I'm darn proud grandpa was one of 'em!
Until we meet again, grandpa - I hope to earn your forgiveness by showing the world that Im a product of your example n 1 day when I become the Governor of #California
- it all started because you, a humble man from a tiny #village
named Adivikolanu in India, walked miles of dirt road just to get to school n continued to work hard until his last breath.
Lets roll up the sleeves