This I Believe

Kiley - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on September 26, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

This I believe

A role model is someone whose life or the way they act is a good example to follow. I believe that everyone should have a strong role model in his or her life. My role model is my grandma.

Throughout my grandma’s life, she has experienced many struggles and disappointments. She lost her first husband on the day of the birth of her 5th child. She left the hospital, as a widow with a newborn and three other children to raise alone. Prior to the death of her husband, her third daughter died at the age of two from spina bifida. In her lifetime, she has remarried twice and has buried both of those husbands. She could have many reasons to be bitter but my grandma continues to be one of the most optimistic and upbeat people I know. Her view of the world and her life has always been positive and realistic; she credits this to her strong religious beliefs. Now at 80 years old, she is still going to three parties a week, traveling around the world, living independently, visiting tons of friends, and keeping our big family together. It is hard to get a date to see her!

My grandmother has taught me valuable lessons about life. She has always encouraged me to pursue my dreams, taught me that family will always support you, and with God on your side, the world has no limits. She has helped me form wonderful relationships with family members. My grandma has touched each one of her children, grandchildren, stepchildren, and step-grandchildren’s hearts. She is open to everyone and has a great sense of humor! Many of my greatest memories involve her, for example, many lazy afternoons painting beautiful pastel pictures, rooming together on a cruise, floating in the lake at our cottage, and flying together to visit my favorite cousins.

I have learned to embrace life and live every moment with the help of my grandma. Her motto is simple, you never know what might happen next so, be thankful for each moment you have. In addition, she has also taught me not to live in the past. Things may happen unexpectedly but you cannot continue to grieve for something that you cannot change.

One of my grandma’s biggest pet peeves is when old people talk about all their medical problems and their age. She has told me to focus on the good and the bad will disappear.

I am so fortunate to have a role model that has shown me through her life that living with a positive attitude and strong faith can make you very happy. A person’s life can be changed with the help of valuable life lessons and an optimistic path to follow. I believe a good role model can offer these things.