Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Older and Wiser

Old age.  It’s bound to happen at some point.  When you are my age though it seems so far in the future, so distant…impossible.  Like the fountain of youth will somehow be better to you than it was the other person, and you will continue to look youthful while running, exercising, and climbing mountains until death. I remember when I thought the same of Grandma H.  The fountain never seemed to run dry as she aged.  I always questioned if it was due to her unique diet of prunes and vegetable juice from the bottom of the cans.  I remember her jumping off of cabinets, playing softball in the backyard, and driving me all around town until we found a butterfly net for me to play with in the yard.   
I hadn’t seen grandma in a while.  Since her Alzheimer’s forced us to put her in a nursing home by my aunt 45 minutes away, it has been more difficult to see her.  My brother and I had been talking and discovered we both had similar dreams about her dying and not being able to say goodbye, so we decided to spend a monday night going to see her.
As spunky as ever, we found grandma alone in the living room area trying to figure out how to turn the tv on to watch I Love Lucy.  Her face was tense with determination, and she unwillingly was pushed back to her private room to visit with us.  Her focus quickly changed since she can’t remember from one minute to the next and we had some great laughs that night.  Her common phrases are, “Tell me everything you know.”  ”Write that down for me somewhere.”  “Are you married?"  "Do you have a husband?”  “Where do I belong?” 
While her confusion is apparent and she forgets of our visit minutes after we leave, she is always persistent on telling us to come visit again real soon and how wonderful it was to see us. Grandmas personality, character, and spirit are things I have always admired.   Always looking for the positive- a true Pollyanna. 
And while she may be confused and is unable to comprehend what a computer is, internet, video camera, or how to turn a tv on, she knows what is important.  I wish now, that as a child I would have taken advantage of the numerous opportunities I had to ask her more questions.  While she is still able to remember quite a bit from the far past, the family will now learn more about her by reading her journals from childhood.  As we talk now though, most often we will repeat the same conversation multiple times.  Every now and then she will say something that sticks out to me.  “Sometimes we just don’t know whats important,” she stated.  I thought about how true that statement is.  How often do I rush through life not appreciating God’s beautiful creation, people, my health, job, and friends.  I only take notice of the negative and differences between myself and others, not appreciating those differences and how God made us all unique.  But lastly, how often have I taken forgranted the time I have to learn from my grandma who is still older and wiser.

Grandma 20 years ago

Launching into the Blog World!

Hello!  Welcome to my blog.  Sitting around the kitchen table with my family one Sunday afternoon we got on the topic of blogs.  My parents had never heard of them, so I explained how blogs have the ability of sharing aspects of a stranger's life in a way that makes you feel you know them personally.  With some encouragement from others, and previous thoughts of my own, I too created this blog in order to share my own experiences in life and travel. 

The inspiration for this idea actually begins with a story.  As a child I loved watching the movie "Little Women."  There is one scene in particular that has always stood out to me.  It starts with the main character, Jo March, when she embarks on a life adventure to study abroad and befriends a professor.  In groups they would discuss deep political topics, and at one point, she impresses these scholarly men with her maturity and knowledge.  "You should have been a lawyer," one man said, surprised that a woman could possess such intellectual opinions, much less one with so little education, financial wealth, and life experiences. She replied graciously, "I should have been a great many things."

The boldness and confidence by which she spoke inspired me.  It seemed like such a powerful statement from someone who had little formal education or worldly background, and was surrounded by intelligent, wealthy, and well-versed people.  Growing up I don't think I really felt that I excelled specifically in any area, except perhaps sports in a small private school.  I had no calling and wasn't convinced I was created to go into one certain area of education following high school like some of my other friends.  As I've gotten older and discovered the talents and gifts God has graciously given me, I too feel that I should be/have been a great many things.  Soon I will be a certified radiologic technologist by trade, and a public speaker, photographer, artist, traveler, park ranger, counselor, doctor, and avid nutritionist at heart. 

A quote I heard the other day I think defines many of us, especially Christians who aspire to become more like Christ daily and yet continually feel they fall short of the person God desires them to be.

"I'm not what I could be.  I'm not what I should be.  But I am not who I was."

Even when I feel like my faith and life should be so much further, I can rest knowing that I am in the center of where God wants me to be at this very moment and know that I am not who I was yesterday.  Through life experiences He has taught me so much.  So that is what my blog will be about.  The God-given experiences, interests and passions that I have and want to share with the world....