We are all born with a complete lack of experience regarding what it takes to be a well-adjusted human being. We depend on our families and caretakers to guide us in this area. Inevitably, our grandparents are the most experienced family members with whom we spend time and form early, influential relationships. And the wisdom and knowledge they communicate through the years will quite often leave an impact that lasts a lifetime.
Looking back, we usually don’t fully realize the weight of their words when we’re young. Now, we find ourselves reflecting back on certain nuggets of advice from a beloved grandparent. The words, attitudes, and general outlook on life they impart often have an impact that reverberates throughout our lives. Until we find ourselves in their place, continuing the tradition with a new generation.
In honor of Grandparents’ Day (Sept. 12th), we present four brief stories – from LHC Group family members – on advice they received and how it has affected their actions and outlook.
Jennifer Fox, LCSW (pictured above)
My grandfather, Richard Berry, was a man of great intellect, a tenaciously hard worker, and an adventurer. He was an Army Veteran with a vast desire to learn everything he could about any topic of interest – culture and people around the world, for example.
My earliest memory of him is a trip to an interactive museum in New York City, where he encouraged me to touch everything, learn all I could, and be gracious to the other kids around me, because “we all can learn from each other.” However, his greatest piece of advice came years later after I graduated from my master’s program. When I asked him about interviewing for my first career-focused job, he quickly replied, “Smile with your eyes… it can be heard and felt because it’s the window to your soul.”
Those words have served me well in finding peace, both professionally and on a personal level. I will forever be grateful to the man who traveled to every continent, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in his 70s, fought for his country, and helped me learn to share my soul with the world – and do the same with others.
Dorey Mejia, RN
My grandparents are still alive at 90 years old – or, as they like to say, “90 years young.” They have been married for 58 years, and I and my family are their primary caregivers. My grandparents are God-serving individuals who always like to look at the positive side of things, even in a negative situation.
My oldest memory of my grandfather and me is when I was around the age of five. He would come home on Friday, which was payday, and give me an allowance. The oldest memory of my grandmother comes from around the same age. She loves to bake in the kitchen and we always made cookies together.
“A still tongue makes a wise head.” These are my grandfather’s famous words to me, even until this day. You must always think before you speak, and think carefully about what you want to say. Words can be judged by others, and misinterpreted. In my personal and professional life, I always hear him saying these words to me before I react to a situation.
Stacey B. Grow
Director of Marketing
My Poppa Dale was the kindest person I’ve ever known. That, along with his ability to understand people and never judge, are the traits I most admired and aspire to. He was a routine-driven, beach-loving, proud father of five – a WWII Marine Veteran and concrete salesman who never met a stranger, never judged a person, and loved a good steak and Cutty Sark. He was the kind of person who, at one moment, could be incredibly impactful with his quiet nature – and then, only a minute later, have a room full of people howling with his amazing ability to remember and tell jokes.
One of my fondest memories of Poppa Dale was when he would pick my siblings and me up from the bus stop every few weeks. He would take us to get ice cream or frozen yogurt, asking about our day and what was going on in our lives. It was a seemingly simple gesture that created such fond memories.
“It takes all kinds of people to make a world.” This sums up his ability to see the value in every person, and it taught me that respecting people is an easy thing that too many forget to do – far too often.
My Granny was a wise, strong woman. She was the first one – outside of my parents – to whom I went for advice. She was a registered nurse, and I was always drawn to her compassion for others. My oldest memory of her is laughing and playing together on the family farm.
She always said, “It’s better to laugh than cry.” These wise words help me remember that it is a choice to see things positively and look on the sunny side.
Chief Communications Officer and future grandparent
Thank you for reading our first stories from The Front Porch. We were touched by the advice our employees were willing to share and are honored to present them to you.
Have you received a piece of advice from a grandparent that still resonates with you today? Or maybe you are a grandparent feeling inspired to impart your wisdom onto us! Let us know in the comments down below.
Happy Grandparent’s Day!