Tag Archives: Inspiration

Heroes & Angels

On July 18th one of my heroes passed away.  My Grandmother June Gimse was 90 years old and had suffered several strokes that took her memory from her, so her passing wasn’t totally unexpected but somehow it was.

I never thought she could die.  In my head Grandma is larger than life.  Maybe that’s why it’s taken me so long to put anything about her down on paper.  Everything I say or write seems so pale and inadequate to the task of describing her or my love for her.

Grandma enchanted me.  I think that’s the closest I can come to an accurate description.  Don’t get me wrong, I have not created in my mind a revisionist perfect person.  Far from it.  She was remarkable in the way that she was perfectly imperfect.

This photo of her angel is an awesome illustration of what I mean. Notice anything different about this angel?  I took this angel home when we moved Grandma into the nursing home.  A small memento that I could keep near Angel Photome to remind me everyday of Grandma. But something about it bugged me. Every day. What was it?

Then one night I saw what was bothering me. Her wings.  They’re upside down.

Grandma had apparently broken the angel’s wings off (or maybe it was one of the grand-kids who did it-I may never know) and she repaired it. The fact that they’re upside down is just so her. It’s fixed. No, it’s not perfect but life is not perfect. Something that Grandma knew so well.

Grandma faced so many set backs in life. Her husband died leaving her with 3 young girls to raise. A father-in-law who owned her home who tried to take the home away from her. No education or skills. And a world that told her to give up her girls because there was no way she could raise them on her own. Everywhere she turned someone was telling her, “You can’t succeed.”

This is why she is my hero. She worked several menial jobs to earn money while she put herself through college so she could become an accountant.  She took her father-in-law to court to keep her home and won.  She kept her girls with her and raised them all.

This was not the life she had envisioned, but she never pitied herself. She never lost her faith in God. She never lost her sense of humor, of love, and of compassion. When she got knocked down, she would rise. If the world threw another curve her direction she would meet the challenge the best she could.  Her favorite song was Keep On The Sunny Side and she lived it.

Grandma didn’t believe things couldn’t be done.  There was always a way. It may not be the best way or the most perfect way, but she would find way. She went after what she wanted in this life.

She inspires me. Her strength in the face of what to me is unimaginable circumstances is the thing that legends are made of, or heroes are born from.

Her angel watches over me everyday and reminds me that life isn’t always perfect. So put your wings on anyway you can and get to living with what you have.

I love you Grandma.

~S

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Filed under Inspiration, Moms, Random Musing, Women, Writers, writing

A Giving Soul

1973 Feed The Hungry Loaf

1973 Feed The Hungry Loaf

How many of you remember these little bread loaves? When I was a kid we would get them from church and put our pennies in to feed the hungry.

Awhile back we were cleaning out my Grandmother’s house and we found an empty one that she saved for some reason (she saved a lot of WTF? things). On the back this loaf is dated 1973 – 43 years is a long time to hold onto a plastic loaf – I’m just sayin’.

When my daughter spotted it she asked me what it was and I explained it to her. She asked me if she could have it. No one else wanted it, so I said she could take it home. She put it on a shelf in her room and I really haven’t thought about it since. Until yesterday when she brought the loaf to me full of money. Not just pennies but folding money (yep that’s a $20 bill in that photo). She told me I had to bring it to the hungry people. She told me she even put the lucky penny she found in there so they could 31.27have some luck too.

I was stunned. And heck yeah I got choked up! I’ve written a post before about how she forces me to buy the food-shelf bags at the grocery store and our standoff over them on one fateful trip (you really should read it – click here), but that was her being caring with my money. This was something different.

My daughter doesn’t receive an allowance yet and she’s seven so she has no job. That means whenever her Papa or Uncle (the two biggest culprits-I’m sure it’s Papa’s $20) gave her money she squirreled it away, or at least part of it, in this bread loaf so she could give it away.

What amazed me even more is that we’ve booked a trip to Disney for this year that she’s been saving for too. Yet somehow she managed to fill this loaf. It was the most selfless thing I’ve ever seen anyone do.

In total she saved $31.27 to feed the hungry and I delivered it to Second Harvest Heartland as she instructed. I emptied it from the loaf so I can return the loaf to her, so she can start again.

Everyday, I fall deeper in love with the person she’s becoming.

I’m urging all of us to follow her example and give to the Second Harvest Heartland. I have set up a food drive called $31.27 with Second Harvest Heartland.  I’m challenging you all to match her donation. It’s such a small thing to do that makes a big difference. Show my daughter how much grown-ups care.

2Harvest

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Filed under Giving, Inspiration, Mommy, Moms

I’m Not Lost

I’m a writer so words are important to me.  They are my stock and trade so to speak.  The meaning in the way writers and poets combine words touches me deeply and always has.

 

I know I’m not alone in this otherwise songs wouldn’t be as popular as they are.  Admit it, there’s a song that makes you feel strong and confident when you hear it (Katie Perry’s Roar anyone?).  There’s a song that make you feel romantic (The Way You Look Tonight – Eric Clapton- huh? No? Come on!).  There’s that one that can move you to tears (One Woman Army – Kate Earl.  EVERY TIME!).

 

Recently, I heard a song that seems to sum up my whole existence, Jana Stanfield‘s I’m not Lost, I’m Exploring.

 

I’m not sure where or how I heard this song the first time, but it spoke to me.  Mostly it made me go, “Hell yeah!”  My journey to where I am in life is so twisty that I must have been exploring my way to where I am now. Truth to tell, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I’ve learned so much in my false starts and back tracking that I wouldn’t be half as awesome as I am now without them (sorry, had to pat myself on the back a little – deal with it).

 

My poor, unfortunate kidlet is forced to hear I’m Not Lost blasted in the car repeatedly, because I want her to feel the same way.  There is no one way to get to where you are going.

 

After about the 50th time listening to the song I wanted to find out more about Jana Stanfield because the voices in my head start asking questions like, “Who?” and “What?” and then I have follow them (I’m a writer remember – it’s what I do).

 

Jana calls herself the Queen of Heavy MENTAL, which of course made me wish I had written that.  She’s written songs for a slew of other artists including Reba McEntyre, Suzy Bogguss  and Andy Williams.  And she says her goal is to give people a “faith-lift”.  I really wish I had written that one too!

 

No, I am not being paid to write this post.  I just wanted to share this song with everyone so that they might have a little “faith-lift” today.

 

Enjoy!

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Filed under books, Inspiration