This I Believe

Mike - Justice, Illinois
Entered on May 24, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: family

I believe in Role Models, Legacies and the Power of Postiveness.

When I was little we lived with my Mother’s parents. There were Grandma and Grandpa, my two unmarried uncles, Mom & Dad, and me, all in one big house.

What I remember most is lots of smiles, and hugs. We weren’t rich. Grandpa, my Uncles, and my Dad all worked every day. Grandma and Mom took care of the house and kept track of me. Every afternoon the men would come home, wash up, and relax until dinner was ready. This was the time I loved most. No matter how tired they were, everyone had time for me. Sometimes I’d sit on Grandpa’s lap and he’d read the paper to me. Sometimes my Dad and I would play catch in the yard, or my uncles would get out my train set and we’d play with it.

As I grew older and we got our own house, I remember that my parents were always involved in the lives of my brother and me. I went fishing with Dad. Mom was my Cub Scout Den Mother, and Dad was my Scoutmaster. We camped, played little league, and shared all the work around the house.

Through all of this I remember that no matter how dark I thought things were, my Role Models always found a solution. They reminded me that I should never give up. I should stop complaining about how bad I thought things were, and do something about it.

I grew up and got my own family and house. A job, bills, and responsibilities all took time, but I always tried to remember the role models I’d had. My wife and I were involved in our children’s lives as much as we could be. We went to teacher conferences and open houses. We volunteered to help with teams, kept score at games, and hauled gangs of little people and mountains of gear to events. We camped with the Boy Scouts, and hiked in the mountains when they got older. We have driven hundreds of miles to go to “A Game” so that they would see that we cared.

Now our kids have all grown up and have families of their own, and I am happy to say that I am proud of every one of them. They are all involved with their kids, and are excellent Role Models.

Now I get to be “Grandpa”. I always make time for my grandkids. I’m always happy to see them, and always help them see the possibilities in their lives. I sit on the floor and read books, listen to music that I can’t understand, and still go to games so they see that I care.

I hope that when they get older that they’ll have the same kind of memories of me that I have of “Grandpa”, and that they’ll do the same for their kids, and Grandkids one day, because they are my legacy just as I am “Grandpa’s”.