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Lessons of Love

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When children are little, there’s always an overwhelming feeling of excitement when we step into our grandparents’ house. You never knew what you were going to do with them or what you were going to learn from them. When we get older we really realize how they teach us and how much they really mean to us. I was very close with my grandfather and I loved being around his energetic and comedic personality. After his recent passing, it’s obvious how much valuable information I really gathered from him, and how the person I am today is somewhat shaped by him. This is the case for many young people and their grandparents. While we’re completely two different generations, there is a connection with our grandparents that cannot be separated by decades.
Young people have learned many valuable lessons from their grandparents. Some students at Warwick Valley High School shared some of these lessons with me.  Junior, Jennie Prial, stated “My grandpa on my mother’s side has always taught me to be positive and to forgive. When my family ran a half marathon together the slogan on the back of our shirts said ‘Accentuate the Positive.’ He was a track and field coach for over 40 years and after every race when I tell him my times, even if they are the slowest I’ve ever ran, he always responds, ‘I’m so proud of you.” Grandparents can also teach us seemingly insignificant things. For example, folding clothes and tying a tie. Mikayla Dieterle, WVHS junior, stated “My grandma taught me how to properly set the dinner table and where all the silverware properly goes.” These little meaningful lessons stick with people their whole life. Our grandparents advice is constantly with us and while the lessons seem so little, they are the ones that mean the most to people. Some students never had the opportunity to meet their grandparents, or lost them at a very young age to no longer remember them. Junior, Jack Pennington, said “Since I’ve never met my grandparents, I feel like I’ve missed out on family history and many interesting stories.” It’s evident to see that grandparents, whether they have been in our lives for a long time or not, have influenced our lives tremendously.

As for me, I remember being a little girl and going up to my grandfather’s farmhouse in the winter. I was eager to  sleigh ride down the big hill. In the spring and summer, I remember being thrilled to see my Dad and Grandpa care for all the farm animals and see both of them work in the fields. I thought it was the most amazing thing. As a young girl, it seemed like an awesome job, hanging out with animals and getting to play in a field all day.  Little did I know how much work it really was, that was a lesson in itself. As I got older I began to realize all that my grandfather really did. Even though my Grandpa worked all day, he never failed to make sure I was well fed. He was extremely tired but always made sure his grandchildren and friends didn’t go home hungry. Even though my grandpa didn’t tell me directly to work hard every single day, watching him work was all that I needed to see for the inspiration. Up until his last days on this earth, he worked on his farm. He had calluses on his hands and blisters on his feet, but he never stopped. His hard work and dedication to do what he loved pushes me and influenced me to work hard for what I want to do and achieve in life.
The most important thing my grandpa taught me was how important “home” was. He treasured everything about his farm and his last wish while in the hospital was just to go home. It was heartbreaking for him not to be able to go home and spend his last days there, but before we laid him to rest, my dad planned to stop in front of the farm so my grandpa could say his one last goodbye to the place he called home for over 50 years. I think that was the most emotional moments in my life. I realized a good life wasn’t just about fortune and materialistic things, it was coming home after that long day of work or hard day at school, and wanting to be nowhere else  but with the people and atmosphere you love the most. That’s exactly what my grandpa did and valued in life and that’s what I’ve come to value most in life as well, my home.

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Lessons of Love