When I returned home from school in April, I learned that my grandmother had started hospice care. She passed away in May. With that, my last surviving grandparent was gone.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few months thinking about my relationships with my grandparents. As I thought about these relationships, I realized I learned life lessons from each of them.
My Grandma Hazel and I had a special relationship. I spent hours with her listening to classic country music, watching hockey or talking about school. She was so excited when I gave her the issue of Scroll that I was first published in.
The biggest lesson I learned from Grandma Hazel was how to have a good time. She socialized with everyone when she went to town, and she always let her sense of humor show. Every time I came home from college, she asked why I didn’t bring a girl back with me.
My Grandpa Roger was the epitome of honesty and hard work. I remember a fishing trip with him when I was about eight years old. Every time a rod twitched, he asked me, “Are you fishing or are you sitting around?” Grandpa never sat around. His lawn and garden were always well-kept, and his firewood pile was immortalized on satellite maps.
Grandpa Roger’s best lesson to me was one of his legendary one-liners: “The only thing you can start at the top at is digging a hole.”
My Grandma June passed away when I was four years old. She spoiled me whenever she was around. My house is full of family traditions, and most of them come from Grandma June. She was a great homemaker, and she remained diligent in her callings at church and as a temple worker.
From Grandma June, I learned to serve others. I also learned the importance of traditions and the value of family.
I never met my Grandpa Daniel. He passed away 24 years before I was born. Even though I never met him, one story of Grandpa Dan always comes to mind. When my dad was a kid, Grandpa bought a brand new color TV. He took off work for the whole week to put it together with my dad. Once they were finished, they powered it on and nothing happened.
My dad and I also worked on several projects where nothing happened at the end. But it was never about a new gadget; it was always about spending time with people I love. I learned that from Grandpa Daniel.
We can learn a lot from the people around us. It may be a phone conversation or talking on a front porch. Ask your grandparents about how they were raised. Ask them what they’ve learned in their lives. Just talk to them. Programs like FamilySearch make it easy to find and post stories about your relatives. You may even learn a life lesson.