My paternal grandmother was the sort of person who was an inspiration to anyone who knew her. She raised nine children, fostered over a dozen more once most of her own had gone out on their own, and as a single mother in her 40’s, entered the workforce and went on to have a successful career. She was the sort of person who could emerge from the most difficult situations with a positive attitude. She had a gift for the written word that she passed to her children and grandchildren. She was the sort of person who, after a power outage, would write the power company, not to complain, but to thank them for keeping the lights on the other 364 days that year.
As my father has been organizing and packing the house our family has lived in for the past two decades, he came across a file of my grandmother’s papers. Cards, letters, poems, stories, notes, and lists. In the last years of her life, Granny bought herself a computer and sat about writing a family history. She was gone before it was ever finished, but Dad recently put together her collection and emailed it to the family.
I may share some of her stories here in time, but for now I’d like to just share a few pearls of wisdom that she gathered over the years. They may, or may not, be her originals, but she thought enough to write these down.
From one of her “lists”:
Mentally Healthy People are Consistent in the Following:
1. They have a wide variety of sources of gratification.
2. They are flexible under stress.
3. They recognize and accept their limitations and their assets.
4. They treat other people as individuals.
5. They are active and productive.
A few other gems among her writings:
It’s a sign of true maturity when a person can enjoy their own company.
Give what you have, to some it may be more than you dare to hope.
When you give OF yourself, you add TO yourself.
Man’s mind, stretched by a new idea, can never return to it’s original dimension.
Character is what emerges from all the little things we didn’t have time for yesterday…but did anyway.