The quiet consistent example of parents or grandparents can teach lessons you aren’t aware you are learning at the time. As I look back at my youth growing up with a widowed mother and grandmother, I experienced their self-reliance and strength. I would need this later in my life as a divorced mother with four sons to raise alone. My memories of my father who died when I was five years old are few, but from reading his love letters to my mom and talking to others about him I realize we’re a lot alike. Excited about learning new things, exploring the world around us with its endless possibilities is what my father did in his brief 29 years on earth. He made a ham radio set, learned Morse code to get a job on the railroad, took correspondence classes on making television sets, and bought a used airplane to start a flying company in Milford, Utah.
Whether it’s the influence of family, friends or others, there are many lessons to learn from watching their examples both negative and positive. An alcoholic uncle taught me that wasn’t a wise way to spend your money, time or life. A hard working grandpa who was always honest and thrifty modeled those values for me. My grandparents didn’t always live close, but I knew they loved me because they remembered my birthday with cards and calls. They were excited when I came to visit. I felt they had all the time in the world to entertain me or listen to my thoughts. What a self-esteem boost that was.