How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

Don't Forget to Learn from Everyone You Can

sunset 300x211 Don't Forget to Learn from Everyone You CanThanks everyone for being patient with me during my unplanned hiatus. My grandfather passed away after a brief illness and was surrounded by family and friends. Thanks again for all of your thoughts and prayers. I will be returning to my normal daily posting schedule today.

We are blessed by those who come before

I have been blessed to have four wonderful grandparents, though three of them have now passed on. I feel particularly lucky as I have seen too many folks who did not have the kind of relationship with their grandparents that I was lucky enough to have with mine.

In particular I am incredibly lucky to have had two fantastic grandfathers who helped teach me what it is to be a man, to take care of my family, and to do what is right despite the cost. I would not be the man I am today without the examples of those who came before me.

Granddad

PBY 7 200x135 Don't Forget to Learn from Everyone You CanMy Dad’s father was a career US Navy pilot who fought in World War II and Korea. He survived his plane going down in a crash that nobody should have walked away from … and brought his crew out with him. He was a presidential aide and a critical influence in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, without him the Blue Angels would never have begun their annual visits to Seattle.

Yet this man, selected for promotion to Captain and destined to be an Admiral turned down the promotion and left the Navy because it would have required undue hardship on his family. See, he never went to College and would have had to leave his family for a few years to get a degree in order to maintain the rank of Captain.

My granddad walked away from the career he loved because he loved his family more, despite the personal cost. This example was repeated over and over for the rest of his life. Do the right thing despite the cost. Be a man. Sacrifice yourself for the good of your family. Work hard. Take care of your responsibilities.

He was outwardly a gruff individual but if you got to know him you would realize that he wasn’t actually gruff at all. He had beliefs and opinions that he held strongly, and he wasn’t afraid to voice them. Or call you on it if he thought that you did something wrong. But this man would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. He was always true to himself and his beliefs and that is something we should all strive for.

I wouldn’t be the man I am today without his example.

Grandpa

shermantank 200x185 Don't Forget to Learn from Everyone You CanMy Mom’s dad just passed away. Grandpa was a true Renaissance Man. Born to a family that was one of the first to settle in the Pacific Northwest, he could trace his lineage all the way back to the Civil War General George Greene.

When World War II began, Grandpa enlisted in the army and became a tanker. He landed at Normandy and fought under General Patton. He was machine gunned twice by the enemy. When he finally returned home, he met and married my grandmother. They spent their honeymoon on their new fishing vessel in Alaska.

Grandpa was at various times a school teacher, a journalist, a historian, and a fisherman. He had seven children and when he passed away he left behind almost sixty grand and great-grand children. It’s likely that he will end up with over 100 great grand children by the time we’re all done.

He always led by quiet example, and in many ways my two grandfathers were completely different. Yet oddly enough when it counted, they were the same. He taught me to fish, to cook over a fire, and how to be a jack of all trades.

But above all I learned from the way he lived his life. Family matters. Be a man. Teach what you know to those that don’t. Help everyone you can. Learn from everything and everyone. Hold true to your beliefs and values.

I wouldn’t be the man I am today without his example.

Learn from those who have come before

depression 200x149 Don't Forget to Learn from Everyone You CanMy grandparents all lived through the great depression. It changed, shaped, and influenced them in ways that not even they realized. The way of life that they adopted out of necessity is something we should all learn from. They wasted nothing, and made full use out of everything they had.

They were frugal but not cheap. They spent money on quality. My family eats at the same kitchen table my granddad bought when my dad was little and it’s in fantastic shape. Yet the bookshelf that you get down at the box store might last you a year or two.

They recognized the necessity of hard work. Nobody ever handed them anything, and they worked for everything they had. And they worked hard. Things are no different today. Living the kind of lifestyle my family, and presumably you the reader, have chosen is not easy. It requires work and sacrifice. Our grandparents knew the value and necessity of these things. Do you?

In closing…

If you are lucky enough to still have grandparents around, learn from them. Listen to what they have to say, to the stories, to their advice. Learn from their experiences. And above all, pass it on to your kids.

Goodbye Grandpa.  I’ll miss you terribly.  Rest easy, we’ll take care of everyone from here.

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3 Responses to Don't Forget to Learn from Everyone You Can

  1. Jeanne says:

    I lost my grandfather almost 2 years ago but still miss him; since my dad was absent most of my childhood, my grandfather was the male role model for me. Best wishes to you.

  2. gymno says:

    What a wonderful tribute. I suspect both of your grandfathers would smile at the kind of grandson that they had. Seems to me like you are doing the same thing, teaching others how to live and abundant life without fear. Look forward to your future posts..

  3. MaMaBear in the Mitten says:

    What a wonderful tribute – and wonderful memories. You were indeed blessed, as was the rest of your family, to be a part of a great man’s lineage, love and memories!

    Keep the memories close in your heart….over time, their brilliance and worth, will become invaluable!

    It is a sad commentary on the America way of life that more people don’t have these special, wonderful, fond memories of their grandparents….indeed often-times their parents.

    God bless and keep all of you during this time of loss as you begin a new journey without your beloved grandfather.

    MaMaBear in the Mitten