Patty Craig: A Slice of Time
Since both of my parents were born in July, I’ve been thinking about their example in my life. Bob Keeshan said, “Parents are the ultimate role models for children. Every word, movement, and action has an effect. No other person or outside force has a greater influence on a child than the parent” My parents definitely influenced my siblings and me.
My Dad was born July 12, 1927, the youngest of ten children. His mother died before he was 3 years old. My Dad and his siblings lived in Muhlenberg County, sometimes staying with relatives or working for community members. In high school, Dad dropped out of school and went to work. He later served in the Army twice (as a medic) as well as in the Air Force Reserves for six years. He married my mother in 1949, and they had six children, four boys and two girls. He continued to work while finishing high school, graduating the spring before his oldest child entered first grade. When I was growing up, my Dad often did two or three things to earn a living. He demonstrated a good work ethic and the importance of family. He worked long hours – often on a night or swing shift. Dad eventually earned his living as a union electrician. He retired in the spring of 1993 at age 65. Though Dad was a diabetic with hypertension, he enjoyed restoring old tractors and selling them. He loved his family and was proud of his children and grandchildren. Dad died at home from a heart attack on the evening of August 4, 2009. He was a good father: he expected his children to work, to be honest, to do our best, and to live a moral life. And he lived that kind of life himself.
My Mom was born July 7, 1930, the older of two children. When she and her brother were early elementary students, the family lived in Bowling Green for a while so that my grandmother could attend college to become a teacher. But mostly, they lived in different locations in south Muhlenberg County – sometimes based on my grandmother’s teaching site. My grandfather ran an ice house business, farmed, and drove a school bus for many years. After graduation, my Mom worked in a store. My parents’ first child was born in 1950 and their sixth (and last) child was born in 1959. Mom was a stay-at-home mom for many years. However, when my siblings and I were older, Mom sold Avon and worked as a substitute cook in the school cafeteria. Then as we began leaving home, she took a full-time job as school secretary. She retired in 1994. My Mom has been blessed with generally good health and continues to live on the farm where my siblings and I grew up. She, too, has worked hard – inside the house and outside on the farm. She still keeps a tidy house, is a good cook and a godly woman. Mom’s example sets the bar high: put God first, love your family, be kind to others, and take care of your stuff.
Jane D. Hull said, “At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents” Like many good parents, my parents encouraged and loved us. They have been positive examples in our lives.