52 Weeks of Gratitude: Someone Who Inspires You

One family member who has inspired me is my dad’s father, Joseph Strong Furr, Sr. He passed away in 2014 at the age of 92, and with his heart problems, he defied the odds, which was an inspiration to me. When I was in seventh grade, Grandpa had a quadruple bypass and afterwards battled blood poisoning during his recovery. When I was in college, he had a valve replacement and in 2007, doctors discovered he had an irregular heartbeat and  he had to have a pacemaker implanted. Through it all, he stayed strong, and his physical strength was second only to his emotional strength. In 2002, my grandmother passed away after a brief struggle with dementia. Taking care of her was Grandpa’s whole life and I was afraid that when he lost her, he would lose the will to live himself. So many of my friends in high school lost both their grandparents within a short period of time, and I was really scared that would happen to our family. Thankfully, though, I was wrong. He made the decision to uproot himself from the only hometown he’d ever known to move to Chester to be closer to my family. He lived on his own in an apartment, though it was five minutes from my family and he stayed active with my niece and nephew and by volunteering at a local hospital. Everyone who met Grandpa loved him, and his example of perseverance is a wonderful gift that I was truly blessed to have received from him.

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