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A Tradition Of Service

This post brought to you by New York Life. All opinions are 100% mine.

We are a family of many traditions, and we are fortunate that longevity seems to be a family trait. My great uncle was the first to come to America, and over a period of 20 years helped the rest of our very large family come as well, one parent and child at a time. He saved money for airfare and helped each family member who passed through Ellis Island into New York find a job and a class to learn to speak English. His life was dedicated to service to his family, and because of him we are all here.

His brother, My Grandfather, was the father of ten children. He lived to be 89, married 70 years to my grandmother, and I remember him as a devout old man who would take his grandchildren for walks with a wooden cane, or sit in his garden for hours at a time reading his Bible. My father told me grandpa was the village doctor in his old country- he was one of the few who could read and when anyone was sick, he administered first aid and basic health care, or gave penicillin, often saving lives.

New York Life’s Keep Good Going is about perpetuating the personal good that positively affects your family, the good that you want to pass onto others you care about, whether in big or small ways, because you know firsthand that it can help shape them.

I’ve taken a sabbatical from my pharmacy career while my children are young, but I often felt my desire to become a pharmacist was inspired by hearing that my grandfather was his village’s “medicine man”, and hearing tales of how my ancestors took care of and served others. My husband lives a life of service, and it’s something we plan to teach our boys as well.

What life lesson or story has inspired you to keep good going in your own life?

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  • My husband and I are first generation Christians and we have just wanted to pass that heritage on to our own children, but it will be ultimately their decision to keep it going or not.

  • Sounds like you have such kind and generous family members! I don’t feel like many traditions were passed down to me, so it’s up to us to create some.

  • Donna

    Your grandfather sounds like an amazing man. I don’t think too many traditions were past down to me, but my husband and I are making new ones. 🙂

  • My little girl inspires me every day. Despite her disability, she is generally a cheerful child. If she can handle that much frustration with some modicum of grace, I sure in the heck can.

  • What a touching story and an inspiring family you have! All of my ancestors came through Ellis Island as well, mostly from Russia and Germany.

  • Aah, what a nice story to read. Your family sounds wonderful.

  • Penelope

    Your daughter is a beautiful little angel 🙂 Just seeing pictures of her in your posts makes my day, she is so sweet and happy.

  • Such an amazing story and what an inspiring family you have!

  • Shell Feis

    Stories of family members coming to America are always so inspiring. I definitely feel it is important to share the good- I had nothing as a child and so the memory of that fuels me to give back.

  • My husband is a retired Firefighter/Paramedic. I’m hoping that one of sons will follow in that to make that a tradition.

  • I grew up poor, yet my single mother always managed to provide for me. This taught me to how to be thankful and appreciate things without taking them for granted.

  • Mickey

    What a wonderful story of family. I’m thankful for my family’s longevity too.

  • What an inspiring and interesting story.

  • What a beautiful and touching story!

  • There are several inspiring experiences that I’ve heard and seen which have directly affected my life. What an amazing person your grandfather must have been!

  • I’m a first generation North American as my mom’s family emigrated from Germany in the 50’s. My dad immigrated when he was an adult. Both have incredible stories to tell from World War II from my Dad being separated from his parents when he was just 7 years old and having to look after his two younger sisters, to my Mom’s family escaping over the Berlin Wall. The courage, bravado and faith that both sets of my grandparents had to keep their families safe and not compromise their faith are such an inspiration to my family.

  • There was a time many many years ago when my life felt like a prison. I was married to an abusive man who controlled every single aspect of my life, and I had nothing. When I left I was penniless with three kids in tow. For an entire month I lived off of angle food cake because that is the only thing we had left over after I gave the boys the nutritious food from the food bank handouts. After being at a point like that, it was all the inspiration I needed to get up, change my life around and inspire me to keep the good going for the rest of my life.

  • Penelope

    Oh my gosh! You really are inspirational!

  • That is so cool that he helped people one by one like that. What an awesome guy. You’re going back into pharmacy one day? That’s great!

  • My family inspires me. They make me strive to be a better person. Sounds like you have a wonderful family, Penelope.

  • Jewel inspired me as teenager/young adult. To go from being homeless, to what she has now, is amazing.

  • Raijean

    My mothers childhood, reminds me to keep doing good!