Viewing: Inspiration From Grand Parents - View all posts

Emotional Crutches, Security Blankets, and Why I’ve Only had 2 Addresses 



















     I’ve always been enamored with individuals who’ve moved regularly throughout their entire lives.  There are those that grew up in households where a parent was in the military, those who grew up in families where quick shifts in income meant multiple moves and others who just don’t like being stationary in one spot for too long.  For years when clients and friends have confided in me about their lack of family pictures, it’s followed by, “We‘ve…

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Writing Poems about My Grand Parents and Why  


    When I chose to write the poems Gardenias (for my grandfather) and Impatiens (for my grandmother); there were many intentional thought processes at work.  I grew up adoring the way my grandmother loved flowers.   I mean this woman LOVED flowers!  She nursed them daily and effortlessly.  She was capable of growing anything she desired.  Trips to Eastern Market and Franks Nursery were routine and flowers were watered in the morning and night.
     In those poems; the Impatiens and Gardenias…

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Parenting to your Strengths 

My grandfather had story for every situation & obstacle in life.  He constantly used his past experiences to help me (try to) avoid mistakes and guide me.  My grandmother never shared many personal stories.  Most of her parenting was through the muse of prayer and bible study.  My grandfather on the other hand rarely used religious teachings to get his point across to me.  For the most part he was a pretty proud Christian, but was also at his best when he used his own familiarities to relate to me…Read more

A Glimpse at My Grandparents Marriage  

I remember vividly my pop’s words to a friend who tried to console him at my grandmother’s funeral, “It hurt bad having to burry my daughter but losing my wife is different.  I’ve never went through anything like this.” 
Growing up I had the pleasure to see the mechanics of their marriage but I greatly underappreciated how special it was.  It was a mixed bag of traditional roles and things that worked uniquely for them.
*Pop paid all the bills except for grand ma’s credit cards and the telephone bill.
*Grand…Read more

My Grandfather, Athletes, and Me  

    To say I wasn’t quite that athletic as a kid is like saying an elephant isn’t quite that big.  I wasn’t fast, didn’t have the best coordination, bad hands, and a little on the clumsy side.  But hey; I had a lot of heart! Lol  My grandfather knew this which is why my participation in sports was viewed as a recreational outlet at best. 
    Fast forward 20 years and now I’m an AAU dad whose 15 year-old and 11 year-old sons have more athletic ability than I could have ever dreamed of.  I talk to the dads of…Read more

Hip-Hop, Parenting, Grand Ma, 1986 to 2014 

   It’s hard to believe that in 1986 my grandmother found my RUN DMC Raising Hell tape, threw it away, and grounded me.  She was a Christian and anything titled Raising Hell haaad to be bad.  I remember several months later she walked in on me listening to EPMD and said, “I don’t know what they’re saying, but it all sounds bad.”  I was 10 years old then.  A time when hip-hop songs only came on the radio weekends after 8pm, a time when I would have a blank cassette paused in my Sanyo boom-box so I could…Read more

Saying, “No Thank You,” Grand Ma, and Integrity 

Growing up; once a month or so Mr. Martin would come by and check on his house and children next door to us.  He owned the 3 bedroom colonial but allowed his adult children to stay there.  He would pull up in his long Cadillac, visit all the neighbors, stop the ice-cream truck, and buy ice-cream for every kid who happened to be outside; except for me.  My grandparents never allowed me to accept ice-cream from Mr. Martin (though they did like him a lot). 
As I got a little older (11 years-old maybe), I would…Read more

Things the 37-year old Kahn would tell the 18-year old Kahn 

  1. Stop investing money in things that yield you little like clothes, cars, jewelry, & people.
  2. Listen to your grandfather now, he’s always right.  This will save you money & mistakes in the near future.
  3. You’re going to start falling in love with miscellaneous goals and pursing them sloppily.  STOP and think things through.
  4. In about 5 years you’re going to buy your first camera. Learn how to use it and don’t buy anything else until you do (because you’ll be
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Role Models, Examples, Giving, and Hard Work 


I’m far from a perfect father and I don’t claim to know everything about parenthood or raising children.  But I do understand the importance of setting “examples.”  I understand because my grandparents were awesome examples.  The main constant with both of them is that they always treated everyone with a lot of respect, dignity, and class.  Now that’s not to say everyone deserved that respect-lol! My grand ma had to be the most “giving” person ever invented.  It seemed that during the holidays every one…Read more

How It All Started Pt. 3 Weight Loss, Low Fat diets, and how Fat won’t make you Fat 

It was an everyday ritual; a memory embedded in the cement of my childhood memories. Every night after dinner, my grandmother would pull out the slippery/slimy bottle of Cod Liver Oil, pour it in a tablespoon, hold it slightly over the sink, and call my name. I reluctantly would get up, slowly walk to the spoon oozing thick and smelling like fish, and take one big gulp. YUK!

My grand ma had one phrase – “This will make you smart.”

My grandmother cooked every day and almost the same things every week or…Read more

Parenting, Repetition, Lectures, & Talking 

While telling my oldest son a random story from my past with a notable moral “point” at the end – he gave me the best response ever.

“Dad, you’ve told me this story 100 times.”

That was wonderful because it meant he was paying attention. I can recite word for word at least 12 stories my grandfather told me during the 22 years I was blessed to have him in my life. I will be honest – I know most of those stories because he kept retelling them, not because I was actually paying attention. It’s kind of like…Read more

Smoking, Eating, My Grandfather, Cruises, and all things addictive 

It was never fun going to the doctor's office with my grandfather but there was always the joke I waited for -

Doc -”Mr. Smith have you ever smoked?
”Granddad - “Yes.”
Doc -”When did you quit Mr. Smith?”
Granddad - “When they raised cigarettes to 49 cents a pack!”

And the doctor would drop the pen and we would all laugh. No matter which doctor – it was always a funny/fun moment.

The truth was my grandfather had actually caught phenomena in his 40s or 50s, couldn't smoke because of coughing, and didn't…

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Life is not a Math Problem 

As you can see from reading the previous blog post; I used to be very inconsistent with my goals. I worked my butt off‘till I found the taste of something newer and sweeter. Every “goal” I would say – “Ok, Kahn; this is it – you’re going to follow through on this one.” But I wouldn’t. “Not being able to follow thorough” was a fault of mine that I thought I could fix like a math problem. I was wrong.

My grandfather smoked for more than 30 years (all before I was born). As the story goes – he caught a bad…Read more

Sambo, Jews, Detroit, My Grandfather and Stitches 

Detroit. 1969. My grandfather: Robert Smith: 5, 8” - one hundred and sixty pounds of deep south, blue collars, coffee kernel skin, and good religion hit his head on his garage door while closing it. He knows right away it’s nothing peroxide and a band-aid can take care of, so he gets a couple of rags, holds them to his head, and drives his Chrysler to the hospital.

He gets there and his suspicions are confirmed – he needs stitches. A doctor of Jewish decent (can’t remember his name) begins to perform the…Read more

Christmas, Nintendo, and Free Passes 

It was the Christmas of 1986, like a lot of kids, I was anticipating my Nintendo Entertainment System.  My grandparents hadn't “assured” me I was getting one but I knew them well enough to know that they just wanted to keep me guessing (and wanted to keep my behavior good.)  About 4 days before Christmas they told me they had to go to a luncheon and would be gone for about 2 hours. The standard rules applied: don't answer the door for nobody, and don't try to cook any food.

The minute the door closed, I…

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The World we Live in 

At this point in parenthood I absolutely understand the looks of concern and hope my grandfather gave me on a daily basis because I give my children the exact same looks. The world is an ever evolving sphere with way more bobby traps and challenges than I ever had at their ages. Now I see why my grand ma made me memorize Psalm 23.