Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Today is my Grandmother's birthday. She would have been 85 today.

I have lots of fond memories of her, just like a granddaughter should. She was all the things a grandmother should be--loving, thoughtful and lots of fun. I remember her strong personality that was fiercely devoted to her family-- including her husband, Andrew, of 50+ years. She had 6 kids--my dad being the oldest. I have 4 aunts and 1 uncle. And now, years later, I have 11 cousins, plus my sister and me make 13. 3 of us are married so that makes 3 more "grandchildren-in-laws", I guess. She loved each and every one of us. I know, because she told me.

As Joel & I spend time picking out the name for our child, we've been told over and over that people often live up to their name--strong-willed people named Kelly or cheerful Isaac's. (Puts a bit of pressure on us to pick the right name). Her name was Gladys, but most people called her "Glad". I think it suited her personality.

She was part of "The Greatest Generation" that seems to be dwindling rapidly. I think it's a great name for this group of people that came from the Great Depression and lived without during WWII. She never really knew how to use the internet or understand how to work all the electronic equipment of my generation. But, she did know how to whip up a dessert on a moments notice or how to slip you some cash when you needed a little "treat".

My grandmother died 2 months before her 81st birthday and 2 months before my wedding. Unbeknownst to me, my grandmother had been putting together a book of wisdom for each of us grandchildren. My sister received the first one on her wedding day in June of 1998. I received the second one on my wedding day. It is the last one of its kind. Although my aunt carefully copied down all of the wisdom and will carry on the tradition for the rest of my cousins, my copy is the last one her handwriting. What a gift.

Some of her wisdom includes:
Never complain about your day while eating dinner. It causes indigestion.

You can't turn back the clock. But you can wind it up again.

Hearing the words of God, plus Keeping the words of God equals Happiness.

Maturity is the stage of life when you don't see eye to eye but you can walk arm in arm.

Love...honor...negotiate

At the end of the book are blank pages. I guess I'm supposed to add my own wisdom. What do I have to add after a woman who lived past 80 and was married over 50 years?

I know that some of my family members or friends of the family might have different memories of my grandmother. And that's OK. That's part of her legacy too. I just choose to remember the best parts. It just seems like the right thing to do.

Just like my other grandparents, I loved her dearly and wish she could be here to celebrate another birthday with me like we did on the rare occasion we were together. My birthday is tomorrow.

One last piece of advice. The best is yet to be.

I sure hope so.

3 comments:

Ski said...

Happy Birthday to you and to your grandmother! HOpe you have a great day.

Renee said...

I love this, it makes me think of my grandparents. I bet you have many words of wisdom in that brain of yours and your children will love them (when they are grown) as much as you love hers.

Amos said...

Happy Birthday Sarah! Hope you had a great day!