It's odd, but I distinctly remember a newspaper clipping that I first saw as a little girl. Yellowed, slightly crumpled, but still intact, it was stuck to the fridge in my grandma's house with a small, plain magnet. Every time I would visit with my family it would be there, slightly at an angle, just a square of writing, cut out and memorialized years ago.
During the long years that clipping was held up on the fridge, things all around it changed. Children grew up, parents grew old, families moved, multiple times and to different states even. That clipping was always there. Now, just having finished my freshman year of college, it's wording is old, but its lessons ring true.
"THREE THINGS IN LIFE THAT ONCE GONE, NEVER COME BACK:
Time, Words, Opportunities
THREE THINGS THAT CAN DESTROY A PERSON:
Anger, Pride, Unforgiveness
THREE THINGS THAT YOU SHOULD NEVER LOSE:
Hope, Peace, Honesty
THREE THINGS THAT ARE MOST VALUABLE:
Love, Kindness, Family and Friends
THREE THINGS THAT ARE NEVER CERTAIN:
Fortune, Success, Dreams
THREE THINGS THAT MAKE A PERSON:
Commitment, Sincerity, Hard Work"
I don't have the slightest idea as to how old that newspaper clipping is, but I do know that if its words struck enough of a chord with my grandmother, one of the wisest women I have ever known, then they must be of importance.
As time has passed, every time I read it, the words seemed to become truer. I know now that time flies, and opportunities are there to be taken. I know now that anger, pride, and being unforgiving are some of the most harmful things a person can hold on to. I know now that one should never lose hope, that peace is essential, and that honesty is humility. I know now that love should be given, kindness should be spread, and family and friends make life full of life.
Recently, my mom and I paid a visit to my grandma's house, where she raised my mother and her siblings. My mom said I could have the clipping, and as I took it down from its place of honor on the white refrigerator door and held it in my hands, I couldn't help but think about what the words truly meant, and how as I had gotten older, they made more and more sense. Life lessons don't always come from a book of poetry or a social media post, or a thought-provoking quote on a mural. Sometimes, some of the best pieces of advice have always been there, right under our noses. Wisdom from an elderly relative, or a life lesson from a parent. Or even a piece of a newspaper, decades old and read hundreds of times over the years, but only sinking in when you have finally understood their meaning.
The clipping sits on my desk, its author still unknown and its surrounding newspaper is long gone. Its words, however, are long-lasting and full of truth.
"The truth is, of course, that what one regards as interruptions are precisely one's life."
- C.S. Lewis