Wednesday, September 3, 2014

For you, old man.

I'll never forget walking into the room and seeing my Grandpa asleep in the hospital bed that had been moved in to the makeshift bedroom in my grandparents living room. The disease that had taken over his body destroyed him from the inside out. He was a fraction of the weight that he normally was and looked nothing like the man I'll remember him as.

I was back in town for a job interview that would relocate our small family within miles of my grandpa. I had missed the ups and downs of his sickness, but knew that the man laying in that hospital bed was not my grandpa. As I walked out of the house to get in the car to board the airplane I knew that I was saying goodbye for the last time.

I'll never forget getting to have one-on-one time with my grandpa during my trip. He was there weak and barely able to talk, but he kept mentioning how he had always wanted to visit the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL and I immediately felt the urge to return to the coast. I felt the need to do something and see something for a man that never got the chance to. I wanted to do it in remembrance of a man that would do anything for anyone, even if it cost him time, energy or money.

In March of 2014 my wife and I relocated to the Space Coast and are about 15 miles south of Kennedy Space Center. Every time I have the opportunity to step out and see a rocket launch up into the sky I think about how one of the world's greatest grandpa's would have loved the opportunity to see what I was watching. I can't watch a launch without thinking of him.

This past week I got notification that I have been chosen for a rare opportunity to receive media credentials to KSC for the opportunity to get up close and personal with one of SpaceX's rockets, meet with NASA engineers, see the KSC facilities and watch the launch from a reserved section. The events take place over three days and the entire time I'll be soaking in as much as possible because I know my Grandpa would have loved the opportunity that I've been granted.

So as I get to watch the fruits of some of the sharpest minds in the world be launched into space I will stand proudly knowing that while I have a great seat in the reserved section, my Grandpa has a much better view.

Be sure to keep up with me as I tweet and Instagram this once in a lifetime opportunity.

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