You Can’t Take It Away

I want you to have what I didn’t .” said my parents. It was what their parents had said to them.

My grandparents were immigrants from Europe in the late 1800’s. They came to America in search of a better life. They had little or no education. So when they had my parents they sent them to school. They knew it was important to have an education. In spite of the Great Depression, my  father was able to finish grammar school. Everything else he needed, he learned in the school of hard knocks. My mother fared a little better as she was able to graduate high school.

My parents, like their parents, wanted a better life for their children. They realized the value of an education and the doors that could be opened if their children went to college or learned a trade. I can still hear my father saying, “No one can ever take away your education.”  

My sister and two brothers were 13, 16, and 19 years older than me when I was born.   Life was different back then. Girls usually married and stayed home. Boys went off to school, learned a trade or went to work . My sister, at my father’s insistence went to a secretarial school. He wanted her to be able to take care of herself if anything happened to the man she would someday marry. I really wish my sister had been able to go to college back then. It wasn’t until she was in her sixties that she went to college for floral design. She is one talented lady and I am so proud of her. My brothers and I  attended college also. No matter what obstacles life put in our path, we persevered and graduated because  we knew the value of an education. We were the first generation of college graduates in our family.

Just like our father and mother, all of us have stressed the value of an education to our children. In 4 short weeks, my husband and I will have the privilege of seeing our youngest daughter graduate from college. On that day, I know my grandparents and parents will be smiling  down on her as she walks across the stage and accepts her diploma. An education is priceless and can never be taken  away.

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3 thoughts on “You Can’t Take It Away

  1. Thank you for sharing the story of your family with us. How fortunate we are that our parents always want us to have strong opportunities. My grandfather had wanted to go to college to be a doctor, but he couldn’t afford to go. He told the story often of wanting to go to college to pursue his dream, but not being able to take advantage of the opportunity. He worked hard all of his life and was very skilled in his profession. My parents didn’t go to college either so when it was time for me to go to school everyone was cheering for me. My parents did all they could to make that happen. I worked hard in college and, looking back, I think it was their stories that carried me.

    Congratulations to your sister for pursuing her dream. “An education is priceless and can never be taken away.”

    Cathy

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  2. Congratulations on the impending graduation of your daughter! My parents were first generation college graduates too and it was a big deal when my sister and I both graduated and both got master’s degrees. LOVE this post!!!

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  3. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts throughout this challenge, and this one is no exception. I identify, and have the deepest respect for your (our) parents generation, and appreciate the value of the gift that they gave you.. As you always say, “knowledge is power”, and my friend, I know your parents are incredibly proud of woman that you are. Congratulations of your daughter’s impending graduation. ❤

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