1. Modesty is a virtue.
My grandma was never a person who was flashy or liked to show off. She has always tried to make herself a part of the background. Many times she has been the helping hand and did not receive the credit. She never dressed to get attention and knew that was not where your true source of worth came from.
2. The kitchen table is a powerful thing.
Everyone in my family has always gathered around the same wooden table during Sunday family dinners. In a tiny kitchen that could barely fit a small family of four we'd fit all of us in there; aunts, uncles, cousins, sons, daughters, and more. Some of my fondest memories include me sitting at that table watching my "Nanny" cook and give her family meals. That was a way she expressed her love towards us grandkids and a true expression of joy in the family. I remember Christmas mornings, where she would lead grandkids into the kitchen and lead us to the oven where warm, ham biscuits waited for us to come pick them up. At the kitchen table, I had some of the best conversations with my grandma and where I had my best giggles. The kitchen table is a powerful thing.
3. How to be a woman of God.
My grandma was always a role model when it came to being a woman of God and practicing the Christian faith. She was always reading her bible and as long as health permitted, went to church on Sunday morning. She'd wake up early to fix breakfast and would even iron my grandpa's (Paw Paw) clothes. She never said a sharp word, but instead chose words of kindness. She chose to be a source of light instead of being a source of darkness. I want to be a positive impact in other people's lives just like she has been.
4. How to listen, really listen.
From observing my grandma throughout my childhood, I've learned how to listen, really listen. She has never been a person to raise her voice or to interrupt during a conversation. No matter who was talking her eyes would stay focused, her ears attentive, to every word that came out of that person's mouth By letting people speak she became the "ear to listen to" that people needed.
5. The power of silence.
My grandma has always been a quiet lady. She has been someone with a reserved nature. She did not need to say words to fill the space or to fill the air. She knew the right words to say when they needed to be said. She showed me the power of observing in situations and how through that we can gain wisdom in the right words to say and what would add value to that moment. My grandma has shown me how keeping yourself quiet in the middle of a rough situation can overall keep you calm in the storm and grounded in life.
6. The beauty of simplicity.
My grandma was not a very dramatic or flashy person. She was a farmer's husband, a mother of four, lived in the country, and a person of simplicity. We would sit for hours on the porch: my grandma, my grandpa, my sister, and I, simply to be outside, to look at nature, to talk...it was just simple. We learned the importance of spending time with the people originated from love and true enjoyment of the company you share with one another.
7. The charm of old-fashioned values.
My grandma embodied old-fashioned values. She was a woman of "yes, sir" and "no, ma'am" and "please" and "thank you". She was always well-mannered and was always grateful for the smallest gesture or act of kindness. When dating my grandpa, my grandma always remained abstinent and remained pure. The way she carried herself spoke volumes and it has inspired me to carry values which are not as common and popular in today's society.
8. True wealth.
Being a farmer's husband, my grandma and family have never been one with an abundance of money. To be honest, my grandparent's didn't have money enough to buy us Christmas presents beyond socks or bloomers. We never fussed about gifts because that's not what made us excited. What personally made me excited as a granddaughter was hugging my grandma, her cooking my favorite foods, and just true joy from one another's company. True wealth was seeing a room full of multiple generations of the same family get together and commune in a space overwhelmingly consumed with love. No price can ever buy the memories I've been a part of or the things my grandmother has taught me.
9. How to serve.
My grandma was definitely not a person who was served, but rather a servant to others. She cooked for hours on end to create the perfect meal for her loved ones, whether it was for Christmas or for a Sunday meal. She always made sure to feed her family whether we were even hungry or not. My grandma always had a clean house, pampered and spoiled my grandpa, as well as any person who entered her presence. She has always been a beam of light through the way she has served those around her.
10. True love.
My grandma and grandpa eloped at age 18 before my grandma even had a chance to graduate high school. The funny debate is figuring out who asked who to marry one another. My grandpa went to pick up my grandma from school one day and as my grandma set her books down my grandpa said, "Would you?" and she said, "Marry you?" My grandpa said, "Yeah" and that's the end of the story. They got married and stayed married for 52 years till my grandpa sadly passed when I was 17. But during the time I saw them together, they defined for me a relationship of commitment, love, understanding, loyalty, and a successful marriage I aspire to have someday.
Never underestimate the value of your grandmother. Mine has filled my life with such love and joy. As I have gotten older, I have realized the worth of the things she has taught me and the memories her and I have made together. Although she is currently not in the best of health and our time is limited, the treasure of our relationship is immeasurable.