Just recently we celebrated my grandmother’s 90th birthday with an old-school family party. What a great blessing it was to see generations of love come together for such a momentous occasion. There is no doubt about it – we are a tribe and she is our queen.
As I sat watching her try to sort out who belonged with whom, it struck me that she’s likely reached the age where she’s forgotten more than we’ve learned. And yet, even now as her memory fades her wit, charm and sass remain.
Over the years, Granny has shared so much of her hard-earned wisdom. Whether by living it or saying it out right, she’s made an indelible mark on countless lives. Here are six of my favorite lessons that continue to be an encouragement.
Get to Know God. Granny has always believed what I have only recently come to understand – life should allow for the impossible and unexplainable. She never limits God, and as such her life is full of everyday miracles. I can’t tell you the number of times things weren’t supposed to happen, people said they couldn’t happen, and yet they did.
Treasure Your Family. Granny birthed 9 kids, but she raised so many more. When you went to her house, there were always extra people in the mix. The neighbor who needed a place to stay became a son. A son’s ex-girlfriend became a daughter. Giving people a place to call home is perhaps one of her greatest gifts; because she knows if a person has family they pretty much have it all.
Get Up and Move On. If you ever get into trouble, Granny has your back. She might swat you on the behind while she’s back there, but she fiercely believes in second chances. When I got pregnant in college everyone, including me, was so disappointed. But Granny had a different approach. She told everyone to get off my back. Then she told me stay off my back and to get my butt back to school. She knows life doesn’t stop just because you hit a bump in the road. There’s more living to do beyond your temporary troubles.
Learn to Laugh at You. Laughter is Granny’s best medicine. She rarely troubles her mind about her propensity to forget things. Instead, she laughs at her little mistakes and moves on. She’s learned not to sweat the small stuff, and that most of the big stuff is really just a bunch of small stuff.
Love Without Limits. Granny’s outlived 3 husbands. As painful as that’s been, she still lives with an open heart – freely giving and receiving love. Watching her fall in love over and over again has taught me two things – a person can have more than one soul mate and you should never pre-write your story. Always, always allow for the unexpected pleasure of love.
Just Keep Going. Over the last four months Granny has been in the hospital more than out. The day before her birthday party she was rushed to the hospital, but by the time I arrived hours later she was sitting at the table with her cute dress on holding court. That’s just her way. She’s got more grit and gumption than most folks half her age. Her life is a great example of pressing on despite the circumstances and making each moment count.
At her party she gave a short speech and then sang the first few lines of I Feel Like Going On. Her voice was faint, but it rang with such joy and peace. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place as we all recognized the miracle of having her with us in that moment.
Below, I’ve shared a link to the song. The words are so powerful you can feel the reverberations in the depths of your soul. Be encouraged that no matter what life throws at you, as long as you’re here God will give you the strength to press on.
Peace and Blessings. Loving on Me as I Love You. ❤