Musings: Lessons from My Elders

Today’s topic is: “What is the most important thing you learned from your parents or grandparents?” 

My Maternal Elders, 1979

I am the product of the collective efforts of my family and a great many more wonderful people. They have taught me some wonderful lessons during my first forty years.

 

You don’t need money to feel rich.
~ from my mother 

Easily the most influential person in my upbringing, my mother taught me so many important lessons that it took me a long time to narrow it down to one. I am so grateful to have her positive influence on my life (and these early years of my daughters).

 

Follow your dreams, even if others think you’re crazy.
~ from my father

My father walked his own path in life, even when others didn’t understand why. But his individuality taught me that we all need to decide the direction of our own life, and that led me on my intentional detour, which led me to my husband and our two wonderful daughters.

 

Reading makes you smart.
~ from my stepfather

My stepfather is the smartest person I know and an avid reader. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

 

Achieving perfection is worth the time and effort.
~ from my maternal grandmother

She spent four decades of her life creating an amazing collection of gigantic embroidered tapestries that are on display at the Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis.

 

Build it to last.
~ from my maternal grandfather

My grandfather was a dentist and a skilled carpenter. Many of his creations are as strong and functional today as they were fifty years ago. My husband has the same philosophy when it comes to his creations so I’m sure that they will last just as long.

 

A positive attitude and faith will get you through.
~ from my mother-in-law

When she passes, which won’t be anytime soon, my mother-in-law should be canonized. Not only did she do a fantastic job raising fourteen children (thirteen boys and one girl) who grew into a group of kind and generous adults, she relocated nearly 20 times while accompanying her husband on his wanderlust. Her faith and positivity are an inspiration to all mothers and wives who have the pleasure to know her. And I’m sure my fellow sisters-in-law, nieces, and grandnieces would agree.

 

Please share your favorite lesson in the comments.

~ Phoebe DeCook

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