Remember your roots

Remember your roots.

Michael Keaton’s speech reminded us of that phrase as he talked about his dad working two jobs and his mom raising seven kids in a farmhouse.

His speech naturally made me think of my grandparents. Grandma and Grandpa Heile raising eight kids and loads of grandkids in that Hunt Road house. Grandma outside mowing the lawn; Grandpa working in the factory. Grandma Menkedick raising two sons all by herself after her husband died shortly after my dad was born. They ate lots of veggies from my Grandma’s aunt’s garden since she got them for free. I still remember my Grandma taking the strawberry jelly packets from Perkins after we went out to breakfast. She stored them at her house so she didn’t have to buy jelly at the store. Jon just shakes his head every time we go to breakfast because I follow right in her footsteps (we have a pantry full of grape and strawberry jellies).

My aunts worked at Perkins Pancake house in order to earn money to pay for college, cars, apartments. Little was handed to them. I followed in their footsteps as well beginning my Perkins career as a senior in high school and staying with it through college.

My dad worked hard as a manager of a grocery store after I was born. Both he and my mom had me earlier than they may have been ready for but they did what they needed to provide for me. My mom took care of me and finished school. My stepmom worked and cared for my sister and brother. They all made it work even if their careers or situations weren’t exactly as they had imagined. I see now, as a 43 year old wife and mother of two, what a struggle it can be. But I never saw that as a 7 year old and my kids hopefully don’t see it either.

My roots, my kin molded me into a self-reliant, bold and gracious individual. There are few days that pass me by where I’m not reflecting on one or more of the family members who shaped me, and singing their praises for lifting me into the wonderful life I live today.

I willingly wrap my arms around those roots of mine, and wrap them around me tight.