Surround Yourself

Happy Monday everyone! I know I am not likely well liked or understood for this but I LOVE Mondays. A fresh new week and my beloved schedule kicks in again. I am really not good with these loose rules weekends.
I have a sneaking suspicion that I also began to love Mondays when my kids were in school. That gorgeous yellow school bus glistening in the sun…
Okay, enough crazy talk. I’ll try to enjoy this Friday for the rest of you okay?

I’ve been doing a bit of thinking about the people in my life and for some reason I have been feeling a bit melancholy for my grandparents. This is really not a bad thing at all. I’ve just been enjoying some memories that they gave me. My only happy, stable, loving memories of my childhood were because of these 4 people. I didn’t get to see them often at all but their time with me was invaluable to helping me become who I am today.
As I was telling my husband a few of the stories, he said that my whole family was “cracked”. He said my stories were odd and maybe they are but they are wonderful memories to me so who cares? Cracked or not. ๐Ÿ™‚

My grandmother Peggy was a very proud woman. She had photo’s of time she spent with the Queen as well as other dignitaries. She was very “well-to-do” yet taught me the difference between having money and having class at a very young age. I have no money now so I don’t use this skill as much now but having some class never goes to waste. She was also the person who taught me the power and love of words. Each month she would test me on the Readers Digest “It Pays to Enrich Your Word-power”. I was only 5 or 6 when she started. 20 new words each month and I was tested diligently. Anything less than 18/20 was simply unacceptable. These words were chosen to test educated adults so you can only imagine me trying to learn them. While my classmates learned words like bicycle, transport, oranges and so forth, I was learning the spelling and meanings of words like diorama, amorphous, and animadverted. I recall her saying that a well spoken woman would always be respected. Being articulate and having a very broad understanding of several languages has done exactly what she promised it would. I am very often far more respected after people hear me speak than before. ๐Ÿ™‚ This love of words was what also made me decide to become a writer when I was unable to work outside the home any longer. Nothing has ever been so fulfilling.

My other grandparents all seemed to realize my need for guidance and love so they each chose an area to work on with me. I doubt this was every discussed between them yet they ran their time with me like a well oiled machine. My grandfather Earle was a game player. His lesson to me? NEVER lose. It makes me laugh because these were only games that we played, puzzles we put together but in my darkest times, that lessonย  “never lose” plays like a recording. One warning though? Never ask me to play a game with you. I goย  for blood and I don’t lose well. I’m working on it. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Grandma Eva took care of being direct. Some people call it tactless. If she thought it? She said it. When things fly out of my mouth that NO ONE else would ever say out loud? Blame her. ๐Ÿ™‚ That said? After learning to smooth my edges a bit? I am a very straightforward person who will tell you exactly what I think. There are no lies and no holds barred. My best of friends like this a lot about me even though I have banged them over the head with my strong opinions more than once. They know they get a straight answer from me.
The my last remaining grandparent… Ozzie Osborne. Seriously; that was his real name. LONG before the star was even born. Don’t think for a second that I didn’t tell people who my grandfather was either! ๐Ÿ™‚ “Ozzie” was in charge of teaching me to laugh and smile. He was an easygoing guy who loved his family and loved to make others happy. He was ALWAYS smiling no matter how hard things were for him and his life had not been easy.ย  He was very resilient and that is what I learned from him. He also accepted the truths of the world and when he had his second stroke, he mumbled to me that he was going to leave now. This was not the life he wanted. He left this world the same way he lived it. With grace. What courage in the face of adversity! I strive to copy this example every day.

I hope that you have people in your life that have loved you enough to teach you lessons along the way. If you were fortunate, your mother and father. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or siblings. Teachers, professionals, a sports star, an actor… anyone at all that exemplifies what you wish to become. I am now in my 40’s and my grandparents are all gone so I am finding new people who I look up to. My husband, my son, friends, professionals that have helped me in my healing journey…
Who do you look up to?
What are you learning from them?
Have you separated the wheat from the chaff?
It is INCREDIBLY important to continuously revise this list. The lessons you learn today are the building blocks for the life you will lead tomorrow. Be careful who you listen to. Make sure they help you grow and not allow you to wither by stealing all the sun.

Surround yourself

6 responses to “Surround Yourself

  1. I am SO glad you had these wonderful grandparents in your life Heather. THEY are probably the main reason you survived and are here to pass on their wisdom – and yours! – today. I have often focused on the not-so-good things I learnt from my parents and grandparents, but no-one is perfect and I learned many, many very good things too. Respect for all living things, manners, honesty, how to cook/draw/sew/knit/drive, kindness and self-sufficiency to name but a few. Thank you for reminding me my friend.xxx

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  2. I think this one is the best one ever!

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  3. Beautiful post, and a wonderful tribute to your grandparents. I’ve been lucky in my life to have been loved by family and friends, and I hope my children feel the same way.

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