I woke this morning thinking about the great pioneer heritage my LDS faith has given me. Ancestors such as Patty Bartlett Sessions, Sanford Bingham, Hendrikus Dikkema and many others. My husband also has a great pioneer heritage. These individuals are an example of choosing to do the hard thing because they knew in their hearts it was the right thing to do. They left their comfortable homes and lives. They left friends and family. They sacrificed their time, their talents, their property, and for some their lives to serve God and to serve their fellowman.
While these are great stories I often share with my children, this morning my thoughts have specifically turned to my two grandmothers: Edna Hancock Dickamore Rollins and Zora Roberts Cook. These two women, though born almost 20 years apart shared many experiences that have blessed my life. Both came from hard-working, but more well off, families. Both married men who subsequently became ill and that they were left to care for. After being widowed at young ages, both women were left with young children to raise in an economy that left few career choices for women.
Both these women worked hard and supported their families. They did not believe in taking handouts. They believed in being self-sufficient. Two memories stand out strongly in my mind about these two amazing women.
Even after going blind, my Grandma Rollins wanted to live on her own and found a way to do so. She was always cheerful when we would go visit her and she loved to "read" getting books on tape from the library.
Shortly before my Grandma Cook passed away, we were helping her in her yard. I loved this time when I would take my sons and go spend time with grandma. As we were talking she shared with me how much she loved my grandfather and how she missed him. She told me that she was ready to be with him again. She shared with me that being without him for almost 40 years was a long time to have been alone and that she had been lonely.
From these great women, I gained a love of learning; to never stop learning something new everyday. I learned to work hard and that a woman can do anything; it may not be easy, but with determination, you can do it. I learned to value my marriage; it is a blessing that could easily be taken away. I learned to love.