Monday, July 19, 2010

Influence: Family

I've been pondering a series of blogs focusing on the influence of people in my life and the leadership lessons they have taught me. Last week at CIY Move we studied 1 & 2 Timothy and the time in those books and the study of the Paul and Timothy relationship cemented it in my mind. So without further ado, here is the first.

My mother & father divorced when I was 4 1/2 so I don't know very much about my dad's side of the family. Childhood was not easy in a lot of ways (like a lot of other people), but through it all my mother and my grandfather taught me many invaluable things.

My mom will tell you that there are many decisions that she regrets, but I saw in her an indomitable spirit and the will to do whatever she could for her children. The lessons of unconditional love (which still continue to this day) were not easy to learn, but were very evident. I look back at the hours that she worked in low paying jobs, the many meals that she skipped so that her children could eat, the times she cried and prayed for us, and the love that was there no matter how poorly we treated her in our own immature stupidity. The importance of family never wavered and she had seen that modeled from her own parents.

My grandfather was more of a father to me and I know that he felt the same way. There are so many memories of how he spoiled us as children, laughing and teaching us (one of the smartest men I have ever known), how he took care of my invalid grandmother for 14 years and never complained, and the closeness that he and I developed in the last decade of his life. He was generous to a fault and would do anything for his family. He taught me what it was to be a father and a husband and I miss him very much.

There are many others who had an impact on me (and you dear reader will see who they are), but my mom and grandfather formed the foundation of who I am. I don't (and didn't) thank them enough, but their impact is not lessened.

Thanks Mom-thanks Gramps. You have done more for me and who I am today than you could ever know. I love you both.

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