“Senior citizens, although slow and dangerous behind the wheel, can still serve a purpose.”
Just last week I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with my parents in Bloomington. I had just gotten back from a dentist appointment (no cavities FYI) so I decided to spend some time with my grandmother, or as she is better known as just “Mamaw”. We chatted, or I talked and she pretended to listen… She may have a slight hearing disability and could benefit from the technology of hearing aids. If anyone reading this ever shares the whole concept of blogging, in particular this blog post, then I will kill you. If she doesn’t kill me first.
While we were talking, I was admiring some of the pictures on her wall. I don’t think I need to tell you, but my picture displays the LEAST on this wall. I am okay with it. Some people just aren’t fully appreciated until they are dead (meaning myself, not my mamaw). However, I digress… In the entryway in my mamaw’s house she has about 30 framed pictures that detail the aging process of our family. It is rather daunting while impressive.
I was admiring the pictures and talking to her (she pretended to hear what I was saying) and then she brought another 10 pictures that she wanted hung up on the wall. I grabbed a ladder and started nailing studs and frames. When we were finished we both stepped back to admire my work. It was at that point when she said something that I hope will stay with me for many years…
“Whenever I feel down and depressed, that there is nothing worth living for, I look at these pictures and realize all of God’s blessings in my life.”
Now this is a lady who has lost her siblings, husband, cancer survivor, multiple disabilities and now practically deaf. She knows pain, heartache and disappointment. Yet in all of these things, she is able to look to the good in her life and be thankful for the blessings in the little things. Whether those blessings include a new day to be alive, family, friends, the birds and the bees, and her favorite grandson, myself, she is thankful.
Little did I know that just a few days later, my employer would wipe out almost 300 full-time positions. As I watched coworkers receive this horrible news I couldn’t help but to fear for my own future while grieving alongside them. Yet in that exact moment I had to be thankful for all of the blessings and opportunities that present themselves on a daily basis. So I made a short list of things that I am thankful for.
- The best family and friends that a man could ask for. Real stability and community.
- Long runs on a hot day.
- Woods and natural wildlife.
- Home. Heat. Unlimited supplies of beverages and food.
- Daily opportunities to invest in others.
- Pretty women who can also carry on an intelligent conversation.
- Mexican food.
- Farmer’s Markets.
- Live music.
This list is not extensive by any means. But my mamaw, no matter how old she is, was able to put things into perspective. You know, sometimes we can get so bent out of shape about our car not working, a higher heating bill, your spouse showing up twenty minutes late, or the other inconveniences in life but it’s not worth it to let those things consume us. There is way too much good and positive things out there to focus on.
I challenge you, as I will daily challenge myself to try and focus on the blessings of life. Find something you are passionate about, that makes you happy and knock that sucker out of the park!
My mamaw may not be perceived as cool as the likes of Betty White or Doris Roberts, but she’s my mamaw and I wouldn’t change a thing.