My beautiful, late Grandmother Marie was one of the most resilient women I have ever known. She raised nine children alone after the tragic passing of my grandfather. Up until the day she died, she put the needs of others before her own. She had her own struggles, but always wanted to make sure all of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were ok. She was humble, kind, graceful, compassionate, and loving. She also possessed the strongest work ethic of anyone I have ever known to make sure she provided for all of children while they were growing up.
My fondest memories of my childhood are spending summers at my grandmother’s home in a small town in North Carolina. She lived on a beautiful piece of land surrounded by trees, the wonderful smell of nature, and plenty of acres for me to run and play from dawn until dusk. While I would visit with her she would make fresh and delicious breads and cake from scratch on a wood burning stove, take me to town, as southerners say, for shopping trips, and even read with me every night during my summer visits until I fell asleep. As I got older we would spend our summer evenings reading our respective books or magazines together side-by-side, until we couldn’t keep our eyes open any longer. Grandmother Marie loved a good baseball game and Wheel of Fortune. There wasn’t an evening that passed during my summer visits that we didn’t tune in to watch Pat Sajak and Vanna White spin the wheel and reveal the letters on the show. Today, Wheel of Fortune is my dear mother’s favorite show.
My grandmother developed diabeties later in life, but you would never have known. She didn’t complain. She kept going, kept nurturing, and kept encouraging those around her even as her illness worsened. On her sickest days, she would call all of her children to make sure they were ok. She was a fighter. She was strong beyond words. She was resilient.
One morning in 2007, a day that would turn out to be one of one the saddest days of my life, Grandmother Marie called my mother to make sure I was ok. She died hours later that day. She died in peace knowing that she had instilled in all of her loved ones a spirit of grace, thanksgiving, and resilience. Her legacy of strength lives within all of us.
I strive everyday to be as resilient, graceful, giving, loving, empathetic, and humble as Grandmother Marie. Her memory and spirit is always with me, as I know she is with God in heaven in all of heavan’s glory. She is my guardian angel. I will see her again one day in heaven.
I am sure each of you have had or have amazing people in your life who have encouraged you by their sheer resilience. I urge you to say Thank You to your role model of resilience, even if it is in the form of a prayer for those who are no longer with us on this earth.
Thank You, my Beautiful Grandmother Marie, my angel in heaven, for your resilience. It has made all the difference in my life.
Choose to be RESILIENT TODAY, despite all of the odds.