When I’m asked who I’m inspired by it’s easy for me to joke and say that I admire Batman’s determination, Spiderman’s wit, or Professor X’s incredible brain power, but the truth is that other than looking up to my mom, I am mostly motivated by the lives of my grandparents.
They fell in love in their early teen years, and when my grandmother became pregnant they stuck together. She dropped out of school, and grandpa would go to school during the days and work nights to support them. They went on to get married and have two more children.
My grandmother, having only an 8th grade education, went on to work in shoe factories and eventually became a foster parents, which lead to becoming a personal support specialist – running a home for adults with disabilities. My grandfather worked every labor job imaginable, farming, helping build schools, working as an electrician, and being the local dog catcher. Still they learned to save instead of squander and bought land, land that their kids, grandchildren and now great grandchildren now benefit from.
Things haven’t always been cherry pie and roses though. They’ve trudged through countless hardships together. Including the tragic death of their daughter, Linda, the deaths of almost all their parents, family drama, and my grandfather’s cancer diagnoses. Even though it wasn’t always easy, they held together and worked through every problem.
They are older now, and who knows what the future brings, but whatever it does they will do together. I’m sure I can speak for my entire family when I say that their 50th anniversary was momentous, they have encouraged us to be selfless but practical. More importantly, they have taught us that love doesn’t conquer all, but the work and devotion you put into your relationships do.
I love you Gram and Grampa – Happy 50th Anniversary