Friday, October 11, 2013

Grandma's Education

I believe I have had a blog before about my grandmother, how her sisters kidnapped her and ran her from one state to another.  She eventually married an older man, Nick Stan from Romania, but their marriage did not last.

Grandma married again to a man many times her junior.  Grandpa Will along with my two uncles, Uncle George and Uncle John, served in World War II.  I know my uncles were both in the Navy.  I am not certain about Grandpa Will; I suspect Army because I know he stormed the beaches in the Pacific.

Grandma never went to school long enough to learn to read or write.  However, the war made it imperative for her to write to her sons and husband.  She needed to learn what many of us take for granted and I seriously doubt there were avenues in her day for a woman in her mid-20s to learn how to read or write.

Grandma was smart just not educated.  I often wonder if she had gotten an education just what she would have been able to do in her life.  However, the circumstances of her life did not give her that opportunity.

Oh, did I mention my grandmother was a religious person?  She loved Jesus and knew the Bible stories by heart.  Grandma wanted an underwater baptism the same as Jesus.  She became a Baptist in order to experience submersion under water. 

I could tell you more and more about her because I heard her stories many times as a child.  However, it is not the reason I wanted to do this story.

As I said, she needed to communicate with her family serving in the war.  It was difficult to find a way for her, but she did not give up.  She was determined.

If you named one of the stories of Jesus, she could repeat it to you word by word, and this gave her an idea.  She would take her Bible and sit down, and recall a story to study.  Taking each word of the story, she would do her best to write out the word and learn the meaning by its use in the sentence.  She did this repeatedly until she could write out the entire story.  This helped her to learn how not only to write, but also to read.

Using this knowledge, she was able to stay in touch with her family.  She wrote to Grandpa Will, Uncle George, and Uncle John on a regular basis.  Without her connection to her family, she would have been scared and distraught. 

The point to this story is to understand that no matter how bleak our situation may be, if we are determined, we can learn.  If an uneducated woman with very little to her name can educate herself out of love for her family, then what type of excuse can we give for not achieving our goals.

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