Simple truths

Published 4:07 am Wednesday, September 20, 2017

It’s been a busy week complete with a grandson’s birthday party, a Grandparents Day celebration, and a baby shower. The special events of celebrating other’s special days and accomplishments add flavor to our lives. Grandparents Day at Gauge’s new school, Heritage Academy, will stand out in my mind as a memorable day. I was so impressed, not because I and the other grandparents were being honored, but because the program focused on honoring our loved ones, respecting our flag, and honoring Christ.

I dressed in a long black dress and took more care than usual with my hair and makeup. The experts say as we age to go a little lighter on the cosmetics, but I don’t listen one little bit. I like color, always have. It makes me feel good, and if a little line shows on my face then, so be it.

When Robby and I entered the auditorium, I was delighted to see all the other grandmas and grandpas looking good. Their faces shone with pride and joy at the thought of their wonderful grandchildren and the program to come. As I looked around I realized that I recognized many of the other grandparents from high school. Some of them I hadn’t seen in a while so it was almost like a class reunion as we hugged and visited while waiting for the program to start.

Then, the real fun began. As the students led out with the pledge of allegiance to the United States of America, my thoughts returned to my own elementary school days. I could smell the old auditorium’s somewhat musty scent. I heard the pride in our young voices as we pledged our allegiance to this great land. Yes, pride. Even at a young age we were proud to be Americans.

We had been taught that it was a privilege to live in a nation where we enjoyed freedoms that many others were denied. We knew that many of our relatives had fought in the armed forces. Although we didn’t understand much about war, we did understand that a sacrifice had been made on our behalf. None of us even remotely thought to dishonor our flag.

My thoughts returned to the present as I heard the students recite Bible verses and sing sacred songs. I was delighted when two students led in a prayer of thanksgiving for the many grandparents who were in attendance. We all chuckled under our breath when one of the young folks ended his prayer with, “And I want to pray for anything else that needs praying for.” I think he covered everything!

It’s important to remember the way things once were. In many ways we have grown as a nation. Some things have changed for the better, to be sure. But this little program at my grandson’s school caused me to remember and cherish the simple truths that my public school teachers had helped to instill in my young heart. Their influence made a real difference in my life.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at