Remember your grandmother? I remember mine.
My father’s mother died when I was very young, just six years old. But my memory of her is one of a patient woman with a soft smile and perfectly styled white hair. No amount of my endless questions or requests for a card game or puzzle-partner seemed to exhaust her ability to be tolerant or offer support.
My mother’s mother was a diligent woman with a wonderful sense of humor. Grandma Mertens lived with us when I was growing up.
She spoke kind words about everyone, and was both loyal and caring toward her friends and extended family.
She taught me to sew, cook, take care of plants, iron, braid both rugs and my hair, and set the table for company. She showed me how to do things, and then let me do it myself. All the time quietly cleaning up after or organizing around me. Grandma gave me confidence.
Through each rendition of “Fur Elise” at the piano, she hummed along and assured me I was improving. Then she offered a suggestion for how to do even better. She showed me how to master skills.
And if Grandma saw a chance to give…to someone in need or someone she loved…she never let the chance go by. It was one of her values, and she was a model of her values each day.
Grandmothers teach leadership skills with patience and caring that creates a bond with their grandchildren. A bond that lasts a lifetime. A bond that offers the wonder of memories and reassurance long after children are grown … or grandmother is gone.
Thanks to my grandmothers, I learned the value of patience, loyalty, caring, self-reliance, practice, and giving. All are valuable leadership lessons that help to build trust, confidence, and relationships within a team. Values. How to get things done…the right way.
In honor of Eila Roeder (4/6/26 – 11/24/11) whose great-grandson Maxwell is a special young man.