It is no secret that I am a stubborn person. For those that know my family, I clearly inherited that trait from my dad. Frankly, I am proud of that fact – and it goes deeper into my family history. My paternal grandmother, Grandma Reid, was every bit as stubborn as her son. I have no idea if my dad’s father was stubborn or not – sadly, he passed away long before I could meet him – but I am certain Dad inherited at least some of his stubborn nature from his mother.
After my senior year of high school, I spent the summer working with Dad and Grandma at the canoe livery, just as I had all throughout high school. That summer, however, continues to stand out. I normally didn’t argue or disagree with Dad. I had learned to trust his judgement and accepted that he had reasons for the way he did things over the years. That summer, I bristled. I no longer wanted Dad to tell me what to do, even if he was my boss. I couldn’t get to Michigan State fast enough. To complicate matters, Grandma wouldn’t budge, set in her ways over the decades. She didn’t always agree with me or Dad. In fact, Dad and I had to make her get out of the office and enjoy herself. That is how much she loved to work.
By August, things came to a head. The three of us were not listening to one another, and we all thought we were right. All these years later, I couldn’t even tell you what our disagreements were about. Really, all that mattered is we loved one another, even if we were getting on each other’s last nerve. Of course, things vastly improved once summer came to an end and I set off for new adventures at MSU.
While I consider myself close to Mom and her family, our stubborn natures somehow brought Dad, Grandma, and I together. For me, it goes beyond stubbornness. It is a drive to succeed. It is a drive to lead a full life no matter what is thrown our way. It is survival.