What Can I Give

Jim - Willow Springs, Illinois
Entered on April 24, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Whenever a problem bothers me or a member in my family, we ask my mom’s dad for advice. He has a knack of knowing what to do or say in every situation. During the past year, my great grandma on my mom’s side passed away. My grandpa lived in Rockford to take care of her. She had Alzheimer’s disease most of my life and lived in a nursing home making it hard for the grandchildren to really get to know her. When I heard my great grandma had passed on, I felt uncertain. I wasn’t sad that I lost her but did not know how well my grandpa would handle the loss. He had done so much for her. It was hard for me to watch the man who had all the answers to have all the questions now.

When my grandpa was born, his mom asked the church to take care of him because she could not support the two of them. The church had an orphanage and gladly took care of him. The sisters of the church continually tried to convince my great grandma to put my grandpa up for adoption but her determination to raise her son herself would not allow her to let someone else raise him. She saw him as her gift from God. She eventually was able to support herself and my grandpa.

My great grandma was always a giving person. That’s why she wouldn’t put my grandpa up for adoption. She always picked up a few groceries for her neighbor. The few groceries she picked up were 40% of her income. This was in the time of the great depression and jobs were not easy to find making money scarce and difficult to find. Her philosophy was that she received the help she needed from the church and those around her when she was in her time of need. When she moved past that part of her life, she tried to help someone, her neighbors, through their struggles.

I believe we can all learn something from her. We all have our attributes that should be shared with those around us. It can make someone’s world a better place. My great grandma’s attribute was her heart and drive. She gave to people that didn’t have what she had even though it wasn’t much.

As a college student now I do not have much to give but I give what I can whether it be money or time and service. I know I have been given many opportunities as well as luxury items. If I have been fortunate enough to get these benefits then I want to give something to those that do not have the same opportunities as I have. If I learned anything from my great grandma and my grandpa’s story it is that others should be put in front of myself.