The World As He Saw It
How Edgar’s Family Influenced His View of the World
Early on, children learn their values and morals from their families, and their parents and older relatives do their best to steer their children onto the best path, whichever path they believe that may be. Edgar’s family was no different. They raised me him the best they could and definitely had a hand in shaping his outlook on the world.
Early on in his life, Edgar learned quite a few valuable lessons from his folks. For one, they helped him appreciate the value of hard work. Working in a Kroger grocery store as a kid taught him diligence; if he ran out of tasks to accomplish, he’d go look for another one until he was told otherwise. His father taught him the “early to bed, early to rise” mantra when he was six years old. Eventually, it became a lifelong habit.
Empathy was a trait that Edgar’s parents had in abundance. Edgar learned to appreciate this later in his life upon befriending Frank and Elmo, two boys whose handicaps prevented them from going to school. In Edgar’s interactions with the two, he tried to be as understanding as possible about their hardships.
Not every day was all sunshine and rainbows. After closing the Kroger’s store one day at 6:00 p.m., Edgar’s father took a mailable money bag containing the day’s receipts to the post office. After he got out of the post office and went to his car, a man held him up at gunpoint, made him get into the driver’s seat, and then told him to start driving. They drove for several miles until the gunman ordered Edgar’s father to stop driving, get out of the car, and lie down in the roadside ditch. The gunman then took off with his car.
Not long after, Edgar’s father was dismissed from his managerial position at the Huntsville Kroger outlet. Despite all of this, his parents stuck it out together. They remained strong and composed, and Edgar’s father never lost his sense of humor.
Other people in the family left a mark on Edgar. An incident with his mother’s cousin, Dave, introduced him to the concept of respect for personal space. When he was five or six years old, Edgar followed Dave around and badgered him with questions while he was busy working in his barn. Unknowingly, Edgar’s many questions were actually bothering Dave, prompting him to tell Edgar to back off. His scolding made Edgar realize that he should be more of a listener rather than overload people with questions. Edgar also established a brother-sister relationship with Dave’s daughter, Irma, who was four to five years older than Edgar. Despite being diagnosed with severe diabetes at just eight years old, she never let her condition get the best of her. Instead, she instilled a sense of discipline in herself that allowed her to live well into her seventies.
Edgar was blessed to have family who gave him a good childhood and instilled manners that proved to be valuable later in life. Although not every day was a walk in the park, he had them to thank for helping him get through seemingly impossible days. They all taught him to look at the world in a positive light, despite all the bad things going on in it.