Live Young and Wild and Free

The latest trend, YOLO, suggests that there is no meaning in life, therefore since you only live once, live it to the fullest.

But what exactly means living life to the fullest?

Does it mean sex, drugs, breaking world-jumping records and having “fun”? Does it mean surviving and having food? Does it mean providing for your children? Having a family? We’ll each probably give different answers to this question.

I’d like to refer to two of the people I admire the most in this world, a couple that has lived young and wild and free, a boy and a girl who lived and continue to live life to the fullest. My grandparents.

They are not your typical party animals, if you met them in their daily lives you would see two well-standing old folks, who live with the minimum wage, in relatively poor standards and who you would find terribly boring.

My grandfather Christos, I have his name, an orphan by the age of 7, lost his sisters, mother and father, and my grandmother, Maria, the oldest sister in a family of 8, were married by arrangement.

My grandfather, who was as poor as they come, had just survived the disaster of World War II and now he was about to start his own family. I am going to skip all the bedtime stories he’d told me during the years to focus on why these two old folks, are younger than most of us, wilder than any of us, and more free than we will ever be.

Why they are Young

I’ve been alive for 18 years, and until recently, every summer my grandparents would take their wooden boat, every morning, and go fishing,. My grandfather would paddle most of the way but my grandmother would help if it were needed. They were always back on time for my grandmother to prepare breakfast for me and my cousins. They have two sons, my father George and his brother Stavros. They struggled to bring them up, but today they can be very proud for both. Having a family that loves them has kept them young to date. During summer the unavoidable family drama will occur, but I’ve never left without having laughed with them, having them make fun of me and pick on me. They are so young in the soul that I can’t compete.

Why they are Wild

During the years, taking different risks and with a lot of hard work they built their house and family. Even today, my grandfather being over 70 and my grandmother who insists on saying that she stopped getting older at 65, travel around the country with their car, to visit family, take care of their fields of Olive Trees, and Grandma still grows strawberries in her garden. They are not afraid of life, they don’t stay hidden in the house like many other old folks. They are lucky and blessed to have each other and they haven’t stopped living because they’ve gotten older.

Why they are Free

My grandparents are not rich – not even well-off, but giving is one of their most sacred beliefs. They don’t care if your watch is branded, they don’t care about what you are wearing or how fancy your guest bedroom is going to be. They are simple people – I admire this so much.  They will judge you on who you are and your behaviour. And although they know little about history, they suffered during the second World War, they’ve lived, they realize Germany is not a country of Nazi’s, they don’t go by the Greek stereotype of hating the Turks or the Albanians, they don’t vote for Golden Dawn(the far right party in Greece) and they don’t believe what the media tells them.

Dedicated to my grandparents who, to my eyes, are heroes. I love them unbelievably much.

With their sons in 2010.

Follow the author @ChristosFloros


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