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It’s amazing how one man’s passion for making home movies could impact his nephew. Receiving his uncle’s old-fashioned movie camera ignited the nephew’s own passion for film making and led to his career in filming shows.
My family stresses the importance of education. Education is given more than lip service in my family, it is given to the next generation through sacrifice. It all started with my mother’s grandmother. It’s the family principle that is so basic and has made such a profound impact on each of us individually and my entire family as a whole. This is what New York Life calls, Keep Good Going. Sacrificing to educate the next generation is my family’s Keep Good Going life lesson.
My great-grandmother completed 8th grade and then taught in a small country school. She raised 7 children on a small farm during the Depression and Dust Bowl. Despite extreme adversity, she made sure that all her children graduated from high school, with 5 graduating during the depression. Although she had not been able graduate from high school herself, she was determined that her children would.
My grandfather loved school and learning. He continued learning all his life and I remember his excitement in sharing a new idea or concept. My grandfather received a college scholarship. He was so proud of that scholarship that he kept the notification letter his entire life and showed it to me over 50 years after he received it. Unfortunately, his family needed him to go to work immediately to help support the family. My grandfather was never able to fulfill his dream of going to college. But through great sacrifice, he made sure that my mother and uncle both went to college and received their bachelor’s degrees. It was a quite an accomplishment for a working class family to send 2 children to college in the early 1960’s.
My mother was the first girl in either side of her family to attend and graduate from college. She earned a degree in journalism and worked at a paper after graduating. Today we think of that as a normal life experience for a woman, but for my mother in the small town 1960’s it was pretty unusual. It was exceptional that my working class grandfather insisted that his daughter graduate from college in 1962.
Just before I entered junior high, my father was stationed in an area with not the best public schools. My parents were concerned about the education my brother and I would receive there and chose to work and scrimp to send us to a private college prep school. This was a sacrifice for my family and not taken lightly. Thanks to my parents’ sacrifice, my brother and I both went to top ranked colleges and went on to earn our master degrees.
With my family’s heritage, my husband and I started college funds for our children 6 years before our first child was even born. Now my oldest daughter is about to go off to college at a top ranked university. I am so proud of her, but my mom must be twice as proud, my grandfather 3 times as proud and my great-grandmother must be more proud than all of us combined.
I wish there were some way to thank my grandparents for their sacrifices and to tell them that I’ve taken their life lesson to heart. Their sacrifice has made my life so much better than theirs was. I am dedicated to doing the same for my children and my future grandchildren. It’s not a sacrifice, it’s simply how my family Keeps Good Going.
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Just like My Uncle’s Gift, what is your Keep Good Going life lesson?