Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday Favorite: Stretch out Your Branches

This was the first year without her mom, and I know it was a difficult Mother's Day for my mom.  At our Mother's Day cookout, we toasted her mom, my Grandma, the boys' Jersey GG, but it's just not the same without her.

Jonah was about three months old here.  Ladies don't tell their age. :)

As I reflected on how much we miss my Grandma, who lived a long and happy 100 years, I was reminded of how life comes full circle.  I said these words when it was my turn to talk about her at her service...

One thing I know we will all remember about Grandma was her great sense of humor.  She pretended to be annoyed when Emily would sneak up on her and tap one shoulder, then sneak around to her other side, but we know she thought it was funny.  And although she feigned irritation at my dad’s silly jokes about turtlenecks and henways, she always laughed.  Which is why I feel certain that she would get a kick out of the fact that her great-grandson referred to this service as the “day they’re going to plant Grandma.”  Emily had explained how the service would go, and what they were going to do with Grandma’s ashes, and apparently the way his five-year old brain processed that information is like seeds being planted.  So, we’re going to go with that.  Grandma lived an extraordinary life, strong ’til the end, like an oak tree.  She lived through some tough times—the death of her husband, heart surgery, and shingles.  She also got to experience lots of joy—a happy marriage, the birth of her own three children, and many years later, the birth of six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.  She lived in her own house until the very end, a proud and capable woman.  So, in honor of how Grandma always stood strong and determined, I’d like to challenge us to think of her each time we plant a seed.  Remember that we are extensions of Grandma, Ma, Jersey GG, and that we must carry on her strength ’til the end. 

Extensions...lineage...ancestry.  How cool is it that this year, not even a year since Grandma's service and my mention of her strength being like that of an oak, Jonah won an award for his Arbor Day poem, and was recognized at the Stallings Earth Day Celebration on April 23?  As difficult as it is to experience the pain and loss of someone special, it does a heart good to see that young ones are living on, making their mark, stretching out their branches, spreading their strength and wisdom.

Jonah is wise beyond his years, and I find myself learning from him.  Learning how to be strong, how to be consistent, how to work hard, and how to love life.  His poem is a reminder of how we should learn from the people before us, and count our blessings, being thankful for each minute on this earth.

How will you learn from the stories of your ancestry, and create new opportunities?  I want to learn from my Grandma....and my Jonah.


  1. Love this post! Jonah's poem is amazing and such a tribute to Jersey GG (even though he probably didn't realize it!).

    1. Thank you, Amber! He was so embarrassed that I shared his poem! That boy.