Yesterday I attended the funeral of a dear lady, Cheryl Patten. She was a pioneer in homeschooling and was indeed a friend. When I moved to New Braunfels 14 years ago, Cheryl was one of the first people I met. Her children were older than mine and she was a tremendous help to me especially when my daughter hit that pre-teen/early teen phase.
Every time I saw Cheryl, I made sure to ask her advice on something we were going through in our homeschool or in everyday life. She taught me many lessons, but these are the ones that stuck with me:
1. She was her children’s biggest cheerleader. She always had something positive to say about her kids even when things weren’t going well.
2. She taught me the importance of expecting excellence from my children. I remember her telling me that the difference between an “A” and a “C” is effort. The child with the “C” knows the material but the child who earns the “A” goes the extra mile and does their best. She also told me that when my daughter was messing around it was a “character issue” and we needed to step back a little and work on character. I know that not all children will make A’s in every subject but when you know in your heart they can do better, then you need to work on character.
Mentors are so important. They are a different kind of friend. I strongly urge everyone, especially the young ladies who read this to find a mentor. If you don’t know how to find one, I suggest that you first pray, then look around and find someone with a little more life experience, is someone who you admire, and strike up a conversation with them. Ask them about their kids, job, or whatever it is that you need help with and then ask them what they would do in a particular situation.
I thank God for putting Cheryl and many others in my life to help me get through the journey and I look forward to the people who will mentor me as life goes on.
Cheryl and her husband Dave.