I was reading Thoreau's Walden the other day and I came across an extremely peculiar line, "I have lived some thirty years on this planet, and I have yet to hear the first syllable of value or even earnest advice from my seniors." Reading this was nearly like a punch in the throat. I reread it, attempting to see if I had just misinterpreted it, but no, he was saying, clear as day, that his elders can not teach him a single life lesson.
Well, Thoreau, you surely never met my Memaw.
Growing up, I never realized just how wise my Memaw is or just how much I have actually learned from her. She is probably the most financially savvy person I have ever met. I have never been good when it comes to dealing with money but I know if I never had a few long conversations with Memaw about budgeting, I would be living under a bridge in the sketchiest part of the city.
My stunning sense of humor, for instance, I can attribute almost all of it to her. Nearly every joke my Memaw makes is so serious that you cannot tell if she is joking or not, she executes it so well. I never realized how much I've always strived to make my jokes like that. Her jokes are so subtle, but still so great. One of the funniest things my Memaw has ever said is "ain't no dummy, wasn't born yesterday."
Whenever I have a huge problem in my life, whether it is financial or school related or just anything under the sun, she is the person I know will have an answer for me. I've had times when I have been so insanely stressed about school and what I want to do with my life that I've called her saying "help me, Memaw" and she sure does just that. She can reason out a situation and help me feel a lot calmer. She'll lay awake at night just worrying and praying for me. She'll call me up and say "I was just thinking about you and this is what I think you can do with your life."
Memaw has taught me how to be hard working. She worked two jobs for years, never once giving up or complaining about all the work she had to do. She told me a story once about a lady that asked her why she worked on Sundays because that is the day for rest. Her response to the lady was, "well, why do you go to the store on Sunday?" She is a hardworking woman with enough sass to stand her ground and not let anyone tell her what they think she should and shouldn't do.
I am the person I am today because of all of the lessons I have learned from my Memaw. Even if I don't agree with them at the time, later on in life I'll look back and realize that they still influenced me one way or another. I am confident that if Thoreau had only been so lucky as to have my Memaw as his grandmother, all of the writing he did about his seniors would have been much kinder.