Life Lessons From Grandma Gale

This week is my birthday. I’ll be turning 43 and if my life expectancy is anything like both of my grandmothers, I’ll live well into my 90s and possibly into my 100s. I joke regularly with friends, announcing that “this bitch is gonna last forever, so watch out!”

A hundred years. That means I have 57 more years to go, if I share the same lifespan as both my grandmothers. 57 years…

During the funeral planning process for my grandmother Gale, I was tasked with helping my mother write the eulogy. Writing a eulogy brings introspection into one’s own life. How will I be remembered? What role did I play in my life and in the lives of others? Will I just be remembered as the quick-witted, clever and creative funny girl? Or will people know the other side of me? What are my contributions on this earth? Am I living my most authentic life? What have I done with my life thus far?

My late grandmother on her 80th birthday wrote the following as she was pondering that last question. She said, “So my life has been filled with lots of love so far. I wake up each morning looking forward to see what life will offer me and enjoying what God has given me.”

This from a woman whose early childhood was filled with tragedy. She lost two of her siblings at a young age in a very horrific way. The first event was a car vs. train accident that killed her youngest brother Edwin and the second was a spark from a fire that ignited the dress of her youngest sister, Emily Ruth, burning her to death. My grandmother was babysitting that day and she carried the weight of her sister’s death her entire life. She even seemed to relive these tragedies on her deathbed during her morphine-induced trip, exclaiming “It wasn’t my fault!”

Yet, “I wake up each morning looking forward to see what life will offer me and enjoying what God has given me.”

Wow…powerful stuff.

So Keri, what have you done with your life thus far? How do you want to live your remaining years on the earth? There’s quite possibly 57 of them left, so how do you want to be remembered? What’s going to bring you fulfillment and carry you happily into your golden years? What do you need to do each day to make this happen?


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