Right Start Blog

It's Not Always in the Genes

By: Christi Boyd
Mrs. Boyd shares a personal and heartfelt story that will resonate with many members of our Country School community.
Christmas of 1986 was one for the record books. I was an only child desperately wishing for a sibling. Waiting for me under the tree that year was a Cricket doll. She was battery-operated and told stories through several cassette tapes. Her mouth moved, and we even had matching clothes. Her famous catch phrase was, “I’ll be talkin’ to ya,” and each of her adventures ended that way. 

She and I were inseparable. We went to the movies, camping, and she traveled with me to my grandparents' ranch in Wyoming every summer. My grandfather was not a Cricket fan--he used to steal her batteries in an attempt to have some peace and quiet. I’d find them in the magazine basket, the bread drawer, and even under the couch. It soon became a game between the two of us, and I secretly loved searching for those D batteries.

Fast forward to 1990 and I finally had a sister of my own. Cricket became a distant memory with her stained face (from my attempts to feed her peanut butter and jelly) and her melted hair (I wanted it crimped). Grandpa was relieved...although he soon realized my sister Katie was a handful in her own right.

The bond with my grandpa remained strong, and through the years we continued to connect in our own way. He always had Werther’s Originals on hand, taught me how to drive a golf cart, and we programmed his VCR each night to record Jay Leno so we could watch it in the morning. He was a steadfast, larger-than-life human who fought in WWII as a bomber pilot, lost his first wife to cancer, and then married my grandmother who had lost her husband to heart failure while in her 40s. Through that marriage he became the father to six children, and gave them a life they deserved.

This Christmas we said goodbye to the man I believed to be indestructible. My last visit with him in July was powerful, and it proved to me that family is not always in the genes. In two weeks, we will welcome another member to the family: my sister’s baby. I find it odd that sorrow and joy can coexist, yet somehow they do.

As I await the birth of my sister's little one, I think about the things I know my grandfather would have wanted to pass on to his newest great-grandchild and hope these lessons from him will resonate with your family:
  1. Live in the moment and take all opportunities that come your way. 
  2. If you see a problem, then find a solution. 
  3. Love deeply. Forgive often. Live to serve others.
  4. Love your country and your fellow man.
  5. Buy good cardigans.
  6. Appreciate nature. Camp. Fish. Explore.
  7. Golf. 
  8. Be kind and humble always.
  9. Work hard. Be on time. Have a plan.
  10. In the end, have gratitude for everything. The good, the bad, and the in-between.
I certainly know my grandpa is with me, and know he hears me when I say, “I’ll be talkin’ to ya.”

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