Written April 27, 2018
Last night I was doing my “Thankful Thursday” where I pick something that I am thankful for and focus on it. This time it was specifically about my parents, grandmother and brother. I would imagine that any parent has their children, schools them in the way of life, remains there for support throughout their life and hope that they have done their best to set them on a path to being the best that they can be. Well, most parents, we know some children that aren’t that fortunate.
My parents and grandmother both worked when we were children. They had to so they could survive and provide. I can’t count the times they went without so that my brother and I could have. My mom made her clothes so that my brother and I could have store bought ones. My dad labored at the country road department. My grandmother worked in the boy’s school warehouse and helped when she could. All of this to ensure that my brother and I had the kind of childhood that my parents wanted for us.
We were taught right from wrong early on. We lived in the south so we always…always… used “yes mam and yes sir” as a reply. We were allowed to participate in school and civic activities as much as we wanted. We were at church Wednesday night, Sunday morning and Sunday evening. Through it all we were allowed to be who we were, and were never made to be what we weren’t.
The best gift our parents and grandmother gave us though was our compassion for others and the need and desire to give back. They instilled in us a sense of selflessness that would carry through our entire lives. Little did they know that they set us both on a path to amazing things just by being the parents and grandparent they were supposed to be.
While I went on to found Bring Smiles to Seniors, through his Plein Air Painting my brother has now founded a program that works with military veterans with PTSD. He is working to get commercial support for his program to help these men and women who have fought for our freedom deal with their PTSD through painting. I continue my work to ensure that even more seniors continue to smile every day.
As children, there are many paths we can take. Some great, some not so good. When you are fortunate enough to have the love and support of a family like ours, taking the right path is easy. Sometimes that is all children need. To be there, provide the moral guidance, let them be who they are and give them the tools and foundations to build the life you hope for them. I am grateful for and thank mom (Alice), dad (Kenneth) and Grandma Lola for making that path for us as my brother and both work to leave the world a little better off than we found it.
Could your child or grandchild be looking to do the same? Sometimes it takes just that one thing to set them on the right path. I have seen it over and over again in this program. Grandparents and parents have reconnected working on cards together, or facilitating school programs. I have seen the work done to create a path and the results you have shared with me have been amazing. That my friends is what #connectingthecircleoflife is all about.
With that, have a wonderful weekend, see you on Monday and don’t forget to be the reason someone smiles today.