My daughter, Lydie, has been working all day on
completing her Taft application. She wrote the following piece in
Describe your family and the role you play in it.
live on a farm in Orange County,
Virginia. It is located about
half an hour outside of Charlottesville.
is where I go to school, and where my immediate family lives, as well as my
grandparents, my aunt, and my two brothers. We are constantly together—having
small but eventful dinner parties or just stopping by to say hello. My
grandparents recently moved to a one-floor house, which is more suitable to
their present needs. In order to attend Charlottesville High School,
I am currently living with my grandparents. This works out well, because my
grandparents have a growing need for companionship. We all work together to
keep everything in order and to make sure that they are entertained and happy.
Living in town this year has meant that I have more time to complete my homework,
study, practice my violin, and relax. This also means that I get to spend much
more time with my family.
grandfather is 91 years old, and my grandmother is 87. They are the happiest,
most optimistic people in the world, despite the trials that they face due to
their old age. My grandfather is very bent over and uses a walker. He is also
on supplementary oxygen. However, this does not affect his mood in the
slightest. In fact, he’s the most lively and
entertaining man that I have ever met. One can never get tired of the endless
array of stories that he has. Most of them are about his time spent at The Taft
School, or at the University
of Virginia or in World
War II. I just hope by the time I am his age, I will have half the amount of stories
he has. My grandmother suffers from mild Alzheimer’s, so she is often confused,
but she’s the kindest, most patient person I know. Her serene disposition has
been something I have always looked up to and admired. Since I’ve moved in,
I’ve spent a great deal of time with my grandmother, and I think I’ve been able
to keep her spirits lifted somewhat. The more I’m with her, the less confused
she seems. We’ve made plans together to visit her older sister in Iowa and to hop a transcontinental train to San Francisco, both of
which I fully intend to carry out.
think the role I play in my family is that of caregiver. I try to ensure that
everyone is happy—especially my grandparents. With my grandfather, my primary
role is to keep him company, sit with him and listen to his stories. With
my grandmother, I hug her, compliment her, and make her feel good about
herself. I help interpret what she wants, because she’s often too polite to
ask. By doing this, I hope that I am keeping them happy and fulfilled.
My granddaddy (James
Cunningham Sargent, Taft School Class of 1935) died
this past Friday, January 11, at home in his bed in Charlottesville after a brief illness.