As Mother’s Day quickly came and went, my mind has been wandering to the women in my life; specifically my Grandmothers. I have been blessed by two amazing Grandmothers that I was fortunate enough to know well. They both share such admirable qualities and have hearts of gold. They are wise and intelligent women who love their families to the fullest. Although they share a list of similarities, they are almost as different as night and day.
01. Simplicity and consistency are keys to happiness.
Growing up, my Mom’s Mom, (Grandma W.) was a strict Mennonite who always wore dresses or skirts and never wore any jewelry. She believed in a little extra butter for every recipe, that simplicity was a key to a happy life, and make-up wasn’t needed. She started her mornings with devotions, reading the paper, followed by watching birds from her favorite spot in the living room.
02. Build relationships through playing board games.
Grandma W. and my grandfather owned a farm for years upon years where they raised five children. However, at the early age of 56, my Grandfather passed away from a brain tumor. Shortly after, Grandma moved in with my Aunt in a plain apartment that was always welcoming and filled with love.
At an early age, my Grandma taught me how to play several board games. It became our thing that we both loved and looked forward to. I saw her several times a week and not a time passed where a game wasn’t played. We had such a special relationship that I still cherish to this day. When I was 14, about to enter high school, and going through the rollercoaster of emotions every 14-year-old girl experiences, my Grandma’s health was severely declining.
When I was 11 or 12, my Grandma started to forget the rules of the games we played so often, and confusion often got the best of her. She moved into a nursing home to have better round-the-clock care. She had Alzheimer’s for several years before we got the call one morning that her time was limited. We went to be with her and a few hours later she passed away. Looking back, it was one of the most difficult times in my life as I lost someone so close to me. However, her dedication to the Lord, her family, and care for everyone around her was so evident and lives on.
03. Never stop exploring.
My Dad’s Mom (Grandma K.) celebrated her 81st birthday this past April and has a busier schedule than I do most weeks. She is petite in size, has the prettiest jewelry, and her nails are always painted a different color. I could sit for hours listening to her talk about the travels my Grandfather and her went on all around the world.
Their love of traveling all started one year when my Grandma gifted my Grandpa Penn State football tickets. They quickly became avid fans which led them to travel all over the country with a group of Penn State fans in the process.
When I asked about one of their trips, both Grandparents casually included their run in with Joe Paterno on a particular cruise. Although their trips to Switzerland, Alaska, and several other places sound breathtaking and exciting, running into Joe Paterno made me so giddy with excitement and one I will always remember.
04. Nothing in life is to be feared. Conquer and enjoy it.
Grandma K. and my Grandfather lived in a beautiful neighborhood about twenty minutes away from where I grew up. They had an in-ground pool with a slide that took about ten years for me to muster up the courage to conquer.
Step by step as I climbed the (what seemed) enormous ladder, the top was more terrifying than I imagined. In life’s typical fashion, the feeling of overcoming something surprised me. It was such a mix of exhilarating and exciting emotions as I slid down the slide. After coming out of the water, the sense of accomplishment overwhelmed me in the best way.
05. Care for your spouse by sharing everyday moments.
They raised three children in the same house they had lived in for 57 years that held endless memories of people gathered around the table for holiday dinners.
Five years ago, my Grandparents moved to a smaller home where they graciously let me stay when I student taught for three months. During that time, I got to see the daily interactions of my Grandma and Grandpa. I witnessed the way they cared for each other and consistently put each other first. I listened as they reminisced about the memories they shared together. I watched my Grandma’s morning ritual start with coffee and the news as my Grandfather read the paper and fell asleep.
In 2015, my Grandfather passed away and my Grandmother was faithfully by his side to the end. She has a strong, quiet faith that I love and admire more than she knows.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
These examples I had and still have of both women are ones I don’t take lightly. I am supremely grateful for everything I have learned and the wisdom of I have gained from knowing them. It is true that the legacy you leave carries far more weight than you could ever imagine. The thought of these two amazing women I have been blessed to know is something I cherish more now than ever before.
How are you going to shower the women in your life this season and the seasons to come? How are you going to thank them for the role they have had in your life and continue to? It’s never too late to start.
Do you have any favorite memories of your grandmothers? Comment below and let us know, we love hearing from you!