In My Grandmother’s House

In My Grandmother’s House

It is said, “All I can do is show you who I am, what I think, what I feel and it is up to you to determine my value.” My life story begins in my grandmother’s house.

In my grandmother’s house, we went to church every Sunday. Because God mattered.

In my grandmother’s house there were walls with pictures of children and grandchildren, parents and later great grandchildren. Because family mattered.

In my grandmother’s house the kitchen had a phone that was always busy. Because friends mattered.

In my grandmother’s house there was a chair where JW sat and he was heard to say daily, “Annie Mitchell, GET OFF that phone.” To which my grandmother would respond ever so sweetly, “Yes, James.” Because peace mattered. But she never actually did hang up the phone. Because independence mattered.

In my grandmother’s house, we said a blessing before each meal. Because gratitude mattered.

In my grandmother’s house, we often went to Krispy Kreme on the way to visit the family cemetery. Because where we came from mattered.

In my grandmother’s house, there was a place for everything and everything in its place. Because order mattered.

In my grandmother’s house, she would spend $2.00 in gas to help us collect $1.50 in coca cola bottle refunds. Because initiative mattered.

In my grandmother’s house, we usually had to take Dorothy, the blind lady, her Christmas meal before we had ours. Because charity mattered.

In my grandmother’s house, grandchildren were paid to weed the rose garden and plant pansies. Because hard work mattered.

In my grandmother’s house, when you asked how she was doing, she always responded, “I am doing the best I can.” Because attitude mattered.

In my grandmother’s house, ice milk was served nightly. Because family connections mattered.

In my grandmother’s house, we gathered for New Year’s black eyed peas and collared greens, Easter egg hunts, and Christmas morning breakfast. Because traditions mattered.

In my grandmother’s house, I learned everything I ever needed to know one activity at a time. As adults it is hard to see how much character we build in any activity. But let there be no doubt in your mind, individual activities make up a day, days make up a week, weeks make up a year, years make up a decade, and decades make up a lifetime. Grandchildren’s character develops one activity at a time. And thus the expression “Enjoy the little things in life, for someday you will realize they were the big things.”

I remember the activities I shared with my grandmother. Because somewhere during those activities, her God became my God, her faith became my faith, and her values became my values. Today, I celebrate her life and her spirit. I know I am her LIVING LEGACY and that as long as I live my grandmother’s spirit lives in me.

I want to challenge each of us to begin with the end in mind. Ask ourselves, “What do we want our living legacies to remember about us?” And once we know the answer, all we need to do is JUST DO IT one activity at a time!