Putting Life Into Your Years

Putting Life Into Your Years

What I learned from my 98 year old great-grandpop.

Recently, my family lost my great-grandpop. He lived to be 98 years old.

When I first heard the news about Grandpop Clare's passing, I was saddened, yet glad that he had lived a long life. I knew his life was something worth celebrating, as he was a hard-worker, World War II veteran, avid golfer until his 90s, and dedicated friend, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. These things I knew.

What I didn't know what that he was married to my late great-grandmom for over 65 years. I can only hope to be that loving and patient one day.

What I didn't know was that he didn't hold a high school diploma, yet, his wonderful personality and work ethic carried him so far.

What I didn't realize was just how much life he put into his years. I know this sounds silly. Surely anyone who lives to be 98 must have a fulfilled life. But that's not always true.

Not everyone gets the chance to be on a T.V. show, get a hole in one at the age of 90, see the Eagles win the Super Bowl, win dancing competitions, fight in a world war, go on countless cruises all over the world, and raise a loving family. But Grandpop did all that and more. And he never failed to make you feel special.

Losing someone is weird because you're trying to celebrate his or her life, but at the same time, you're mourning the loss. I guess what I've learned over the past two weeks is that it's OK to do both. It's good to cry, laugh, reflect, and remember.

I'll never forget the visits to Grandpop's house. They were full of endless stories about family, the war, sports, vacations, and so on. He always had his latest crossword puzzle book laying out, as well as the book he was currently reading. As someone who loves literature and loves thinking, I can only hope that I'll be that sharp one day.

That's the thing about Grandpop. He never let his age define him. He put the life into his years, even when his hearing wasn't the best and he finally gave in to getting a cane and walker. Because he lived his life to the absolute fullest, he had plenty of interesting stories and memories to share. I think this is what life is really about. Growing up, my brother and I always said if we had as many funny stories and memories as our great grandparents then we would be content.

So, while Grandpop's passing is a time of mourning and celebration, I've also looked at it as a reminder. In the end, it's all about the memories. Make sure you put the life into your years so you can look back in peace, knowing that your memories and legacy will live on for far longer than you can imagine.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Righter

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.


My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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To My Sweet Nana, Life Without You Wouldn’t Be The Same

You’re basically my best friend, but with a bit of an age gap.


You're my best friend, but you already know that.

You tag me in posts on facebook like every best friend would do. You like to go into town and go shopping which is what girls do. You are always one phone call away or even a facebook message away.

No matter what, you always give me the best advice. I can call you and tell you any and everything that is going on and somehow you have the answer to fix it all. You tell me everything is going to be OK or it's in God's hands.

I promise I would miss all the times you need help with your phone or computer. I will miss you asking me to come look at something you shared on Facebook. I would miss the constant cat videos you tag me in that are so adorable. From getting stains out of my shirt to signing for my packages. I'm not sure what I will do without you.

I wouldn't be driving Miss Daisy. Driving you around is one of my favorite things to do. Of course, It's safer when I'm driving versus you, but it's one of the little things I can do for you.

Your fashion never lets me down. Your knitted tops and converse are adorable. Your Nike sweatshirt and the watch you can't read is too funny. I never know what you're gonna wear, but no matter what it is, you look GORGEOUS!

You're my BFF. You are the woman I go to for everything. My life won't be the same when you're not in it, but I will ALWAYS have all of our memories.

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