My grandfather, Pop, was a giant of a man, at least to me. He was 6-feet, 2-inches tall and had huge working hands. He grew up as a farmer-rancher in Hill County, Texas.
He and my grandmother got married at the beginning of the Depression. The ranch farm was not profitable enough to support the family, so Pop always had an off the farm job and usually two at a time. I don’t know what all they were, but they included hauling rock with a horse-drawn trailer for the county (and my grandmother, many times, sneaking onto the trailer to ride with him); working in the county clerk’s office; selling “freezers” that came loaded with meat; construction; mowing lawns; and eventually law enforcement.
In the latter, he was county sheriff of his home county; and later, a policeman with River Oaks, a suburb of Fort Worth, retiring as the assistant chief of police. Even after retiring, he continued to do small jobs around the neighborhood.
As a small child, I remember him walking in the door, tall, uniformed in his police hat and with his revolver on his hip. He had a quiet, deep voice, that caused you to lean in to hear—talking softly, and you hanging on each word. My grandparents had two disabled children. This was before Medicare and Medicaid. Many times, they had to run blood drives for their two disabled children (they were both hemophiliacs).
I love sharing stories of my grandfather. When he talked about all of his various jobs, he said so with excitement and appreciation. His most important goal in life was to provide for his family. And he did it without any grudges or regrets.
What I learned from my grandfather was that whatever you do, whatever life gives you, be grateful. He was so grateful for all the opportunities that people gave him to work. Nothing was beneath him. They all helped him take care of his family.
It is a great lesson. Whatever you do, like my grandfather, do it well and be appreciative.
I am so appreciative for all the various jobs I have had in my life. They have made me who I am. I love what I do now, but I learned so much on my journey to get here.
I hope that when you look back on your life, you can smile at all the opportunities you had to provide for your family.
Randy Clinkscales is an attorney with Clinkscales Elder Law Practice with offices in Hays and Wichita, Kansas.