A Teacher’s Teacher

I was a fortunate youth, in that I had two loving parents and two sets of loving grandparents, in particular 2 amazing grandmothers!! One who just wanted to spoil me as much as she could, and another who taught me so much about living with passion. My maternal grandmother passed away just a few days ago, living to the age of 96. She was a genuine character, one who would make you laugh on each encounter and spot a teachable moment even before they happened.

As I wrote this I just remembered a day when I was at most 10 years old, and we had just eaten out and had some beverages to go. We got in the car and buckled up and she asked me, ‘Are we ready to go.’ I said, ‘yep.’ She asked me “What about your drink?”.. She had noticed that I set it on the roof of the car, and patiently observed until it was a near-miss. Rather than just tell me not to forget my drink, she wanted to teach a lesson and she showed me that if it were on the hood I would always see it. Thanks to her, to this day I will set a cup on the hood of my car instead of the roof so I don’t drive off with it still up there.

Life was an adventure with Betty. She loved to camp, play games, and she would just as soon bike rather than take a car. Visits with her involved getting outside, heading to a park, or someplace new she had little knowledge of. As she aged she would enjoy sitting outside, again savoring the outdoors whenever possible. I believe it’s in large part to her that I developed my adventurous spirit, willingness to bike places, and a strong connection with the outdoors. Her approach of teaching to empower has shaped my life and career in many ways. I was blessed to see her live so simply, content with the loving relationships that she shared and inspired by the moment she was in and the people who were with her. Thanks GG.

Love Always,

Gil