“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.