Tag Archives: love

You Know Me So Well!

We all have those friends that we’ve known for many, many years but only actually see once every few years, right? Yet, there may have been a time when you were very close and spent a lot of time together. Fortunately, we have amazing technology now which allows us to continually share our lives together from afar.

Well, I have a few of those friends that I very seldom see or get to spend time with. It makes me so very sad that our lives have taken different directions, but I realized today just how incredibly bonded I am to those friends still.

In speaking with one of those friends on the phone today, whom I’ve known for nearly 25 years, I received a detailed account of her interpretation on how I handle grief. I was surprised at how perfectly accurate she was at remembering and understanding how I still handle grief in my life.

Something else that struck me was that I’ve only seen this friend twice in the last 20 years, although we were very close the first four years we knew each other. In fact, I even stayed in her home for a few weeks after my house burned down until I was able to get into another home.

Twice in 20 years, and this friend still knew me so very well, in fact better than anyone in my family! So what does that say about the connections we make in life?

There’s a meme that I’ve seen on social media quite a few times which says, “Some friends come into your life for a reason, others come only for a season.” There are many people I’ve considered friends whom I no longer have any contact with. There are friends I’ve lost contact with for many years who’ve resurfaced in my life due to the ease of technology. Yet, through all of the distances, absences and re-connections, I’ve learned just how incredible those relationships have been and how much of ours hearts we’ve shared together.

I’ve heard many statements from people known and unknown such as, “Nobody understands” or “They couldn’t possible know how I feel” or “You couldn’t walk a block in my shoes”. Stop and think about why that is if you’ve ever said or thought any of those statements.

No other person can ever know exactly how you feel or what you’ve been through, but if you’ve never given your best in any friendship or relationship, then those statements will ring true. People can only know you when you give of yourself to them.

There is of course those who are deficient in integrity and character and will use whatever you give them against you and that is very unfortunate. Yet, when you give of your heart, there will be a time when those who once lacked those skills will understand just how positively influential you were in their lives and will learn to pass it on.

Listening to my friend today showed me how very powerful our relationship was and that only happens when you love yourself enough to pass it on to others.

So, who knows you so well? If you can’t answer that questions, you might want to look inside yourself and break down some of the fortifications barring your heart from loving and giving. It’s hard to get what you cannot give.

Blessings to you my friends.

Being Gramama

          It’s cold outside. The frost blankets the ground like tiny diamonds, glistening in the morning sun. I walk around the concrete abutment so as not to impair the new, Spring grass budding beneath the minuscule icicles hanging from the blades. As I approach the rose bushes, I realize how long they have survived in blistering heat, drenching rain and heavy snow throughout the years. I look at the cross behind the roses, worn and weathered from the same elements that have spared the roses.

The cross was fashioned from a pattern my son had made in the shape of a sword he wanted for a costume. I had helped him cut it out of the thin press-board after he carefully drew the pattern, free-hand onto the wood. The following week, we made a cross for the side of the road where my son was killed instead of a sword for his costume.

Three years after setting the cross on the side of the highway, we moved out of town. I could not bear to leave the cross as it was something my son had painstakingly created on his own. Therefore, it now sits in my backyard, transplanted into a bronzed container, surrounded by the roses we placed in the church for his funeral.

My son was 20 years old when he moved to Heaven. I no longer had the opportunity before me to watch him grow into a man, to walk with him at his wedding, or attend the birth of his children. The realization of this lost future was devastating to me.

I was blessed to have had two beautiful, amazing children. My son was born just after my 24th birthday and my daughter was born shortly after my 26th birthday. I initially did not want children when I was younger, but having my children changed me and brought me love I never knew I possessed.

Losing my son so tragically, I tried my best not to lock my daughter in a closet. Although she was 18 years old when her brother left us, she was still my baby girl. When she moved out of our home a short time later, I sincerely felt I had lost both of my children. She had moved a whole three hours away and I felt like I had lost my world altogether!

I was so very grateful that my daughter moved back with me for the birth of her first child. I hadn’t really thought too much about grandchildren before that as my children were still young, mostly in my mind. Yet, being with my little girl during the blessed moment she had her son was beyond belief!

I am in no way saying that one child can replace another, but it felt like a new start for me. Although a grandparent’s role is far different than that of being a parent, I felt it still afforded me another chance at being a part of a future I had been denied with my oldest child.

I thought about my grandmothers and how they were an integral part of my life. They were the patience, reasoning and wisdom that young parents have yet to learn.           They were always a safe haven when “Mom/Dad doesn’t understand!” To me, my grandparents were angels on earth.

I count myself so very fortunate to have experienced a long life with my grandparents. In fact, I’m 52 years old and still have one grandmother living!

I know there are many people who’ve not grown up with grandparents and I’m so very sad they never knew that special love only a grandparent can give. Fortunately, technology has afforded us with Surrogate Grandparents to help connect families who live too far away, or simply do not have a grandparent in their lives.

Being Gramama to my grand-babies has made my world so very amazing. I love to watch them learn while they play, I love the “out of nowhere” hugs, kisses, snuggles and I love you’s that pop up so randomly. I love the fact that as I’ve grown and matured, I have achieved the kind of wisdom and patience that makes a grandparent who they are to a child.

If you are a grandparent and your grandchildren aren’t close, become a Surrogate Grandparent to a child or children close to you who do not have their grandparents with or near them. The benefits and rewards are so very amazing to both the children and the grandparents who pour out their love to each other, regardless of kinship.

Have a blessed day and remember to share your love and blessings with others!!!

‘Til Death Do Us Part

Wedding traditions are in constant flux and are becoming less and less traditional. Yet, there is something to be said for tradition. Tradition maintains social, familial and even personal harmony in life. Problem is; whose tradition do you maintain when marrying a person of different race, culture, religious beliefs, or even same sex?

I’ve attended many weddings and have listened to people who’ve written their own vows, officiants who’ve removed ceremonial wording, and attendees making bets on how long the marriage will last based on the color scheme the bride chose.

I don’t mean to be flippant here, but I’ve seen so many people treat marriage as an interim affiliation rather than a promise to Love, Honor and Obey. Oh yes, I can already hear you cringing at the word “obey”. Yet what “obey” means is literally to “listen to”. If you don’t listen to each other, how will you communicate your wants, needs, and desires to the person you’ve promised to love “Til Death Do Us Part” or will you cringe at that one too?

I’m no expert on marriage, far from it! In fact, I can share with you what NOT to do much easier than I can share what should be done based on my life experience. What I can tell you is, regardless of your race, culture, religious beliefs, or even sexual orientation, when you decide to take the leap of contracting yourself to another human being, you need to be thinking in terms of long-term purchase rather than a month to month lease.

When my last husband and I married, we jointly agreed to have a completely traditional, Christian wedding, with one exception; we married outside, under a gazebo in the park rather than in the church. Essentially, since both of us had previously aligned ourselves with lessees we wanted to be assured we would be enjoying the benefits as property owners this time.

Yes, I mean “property owners”. Do you believe that sounds derogatory? Why? Because people have misused and abused the true meaning of the significance in “The Two Shall Become One”. 

Did we have arguments? Yes. Did we disagree on some issues? Yes. Were there times we couldn’t stand being in the same room together? Yes. Did those things destroy our marriage and commitment to each other? No

Why do you believe some people can make it when others can’t? Is it because of the words? I believe that words are very powerful and can make or break any way of life.

My last husband was a pretty awesome guy. Sometimes, he really tried my nerves and sometimes I just couldn’t believe how lucky I was to call him mine. The point is that we made a commitment that neither one of us had really made before. We also realized that there were times when we just had to move on with our own opinions and make the choice to continue loving each other.

My husband died in my arms. It was an extremely painful experience to maintain my sanity through his illness and honor my word. Yet, as hard as it was, I have no regrets and feel forever grateful that I finally figured out what it really meant to have the kind of love, loyalty and devotion that we shared; even through the worst life had to throw at us.

I pray that all who read this understand that in any marriage there are going to be ups and downs. If you promise to “To love and Cherish, For Better or Worse, For Richer or Poorer, In Sickness and In Health, Til Death Do Us Part” and remember to keep that promise, you’ll most likely not have regrets either.

If You’ve Got It…..!

My Nana was quite possibly the classiest lady I ever had the privilege of knowing. To our family’s misfortune, she passed away at the young age of 53, when I was just 13 years old.

I remember how softly she always spoke, even if reprimanding someone. I remember, no matter how badly she felt, she always looked like a million dollars. I remember the silky feel of her hair on my cheek when I sat on her lap as she told me stories, and I remember the lilt in her voice and her infectious smile.

The one thing that always stuck with me was a specific visit when I was 12 years old, just a few short months before she passed away. I had saved my babysitting money to buy myself a tailored suit and nice shoes. At 12, I was enamored with the “business woman’s” look of long, tailored skirts and up-swept hair. I practiced for hours upon hours with my hair to get just the right look. I wanted so much for my Nana to think I was as classy as she was and so I wore my tailored skirt and vest and rolled my hair into a classic up do just to go visit her.

My uncle, who was only five years my senior, was flabbergasted that I did not look like a 12 year old girl when I walked into the house. He began deriding me for looking far too “mature” for my age and asked my mother what she was thinking allowing me to dress in such a manner. I started to become very upset and then my Nana stopped my uncle’s lecture by simply stating, “If you’ve got it, flaunt it!”

At first, I didn’t realize what my Nana was really saying. I had heard that term before, but usually in a manner that someone was showing off something they should be concealing.

My Nana went on to tell my uncle that I looked beautiful and had done a “mighty fine job” of dressing myself with class. I was just beaming that she thought I looked classy!

I realized then, that the term “If you’ve got it, flaunt it”, although often spoke in derision, simply meant that you should exploit your talents, your dreams and your individual creativity.

I am now two years younger than my Nana when she passed away. Most of my career was spent wearing tailored suits and fancy shoes. At one point, in my early twenties, I had an enormous walk-in closet full of tailored suits and over 200 pairs of fancy shoes. In fact, I usually bought the shoes first and then looked for outfits to match. Due to age and injuries, I can no longer wear those fancy shoes. Yet, I still keep a few pair that I just can’t seem to part with.

Some people would think me vain and narcissistic for collecting these suits and shoes, but to me it was all about being as classy as my Nana.

Now, I understand that class isn’t just about the clothes; it’s about your entire persona. Class is having respect for yourself and others. Class is showing love even when you’re feeling sick or in pain. Class is speaking softly and always looking for the good in people and the best in life.

I don’t think I’ll ever come close to being as classy as my Nana; but I’ll forever keep trying and I’ll forever remember her love and her class!

Communication

Communication has been an issue between people since the beginning of time. The biggest problem is as one person feels he or she is communicating articulately to another, the other person is perceiving a different story. Why is this?

There are numerous scientific articles in regard to nature vs. nurture and how it affects behavioral outcomes. Some of the information in these studies reflect how there are “environmental hotspots” which affect behavior more than genetics Nature vs. Nurture. A quick example would be that a person raised in an environmentally hostile area would not have the diplomacy that a person raised in an environmentally peaceful area would have. Therefore, communication between those two people would be very strained and most likely lead to serious misunderstandings. Neither person would be equipped to understand the other’s point of view or appreciate that person’s passion on the subject in which they are attempting to communicate. Thus, although each person is attempting to be as open and direct as possible to the other, and very likely trying to communicate the same directive, they most likely would not come to an agreement.

The above simple illustration can be viewed throughout history. Countless wars have ensued due to miscommunication, whereas merely one person did not have the understanding of the other person. In fact, there was a song written in the early 1970’s which portrayed this very fact named One Tin Soldier.

Face to face communication is always preferable in any situation as an individual is able to visually communicate his or her position through emotion and body language. Whereas these days, more and more people communicate through text, email or some type of social media, which does little to allow for emotion, facial expressions or body language. Therefore, few people are able to communicate in a way that provides a true point and position to the other person. People should also take into account the coveted, but dreaded “autocorrect”, which may inadvertently send the wrong word. One word can make all the difference in how a message is received and perceived. Sometimes the most simple word or grammatical error can change the entire meaning of the message a person is trying to communicate and could end up being disastrous. I have read through many people’s text to each other as they have asked me to agree with his or her point of view compared to the other person. In most cases, I find that each person is saying almost the same thing and actually agreeing with the other person on a solution to the issue. Yet, due to misguided perception, debauched grammar, or the inability to be compassionate to the other person’s feelings, hurt and anger supervene and there is war!

I’m sure we have all been in similar situations to the ones demonstrated above. One of the best ways I can demonstrate to you, my readers, is to show the difference between active and passive listening, which you can see in the attached image.

Becoming an active listener is an art. We all are passive listeners at heart and need to seriously work on becoming an active listener in order to have better communication skills. Increasingly, there would be less miscommunication and better relationships would be created.

Being an active listener is one of the best ways to have better communication skills. Another is to be compassionate to the other person’s thoughts and ideas. Being compassionate allows for empathy in regard to the other person’s present, past and future situations, upbringing (natural and environmental) and gives the communication increased, peaceful effort for both parties.

I myself have not always communicated in an appropriate way. Not that I was meaning to be obtuse in any way, but was merely in a poor state of mind due to either real or perceived situations happening in my life. Therefore, I was not being compassionate to the other person’s situation and was unable to listen or communication properly to assuage the issue. Most of the time, a simple “I’m sorry” will do to correct miscommunication and feelings of hurt, frustration and anger, which can result in lost relationships. Other times merely recognizing the fact that I was less than diplomatic was a lesson I needed to learn and move on, doing my best in the future not to repeat those actions.

I hope this helps with any communication issues you, my readers, may be having in your life. Just remember, living in peace with yourself allows you to live in peace with others.

 

Forgiveness

             Have you ever been so angry at someone, you just knew you’d hate that person for the rest of your life? That person did something so mean, unconscionable and unspeakable, that there was just no way you would possibly ever even accept an apology from that person. That person completely betrayed your trust, love and/or friendship. Why on earth would you even consider forgiving that person?

People make mistakes, even you do. Yet, some mistakes seem terribly unforgivable, don’t they? Well, think about the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone; and be honest with yourself. Would you forgive you?

It’s hard to forgive people when we feel hurt, betrayed, angry, etc., but remember, you are in control of your own emotions. Yet, in order to control your emotions, you need to be free of the negative, damaging emotions such as hate and anger. The only way to be free of those destructive emotions is to forgive those who hurt you.

I didn’t say this was an easy feat. In fact, it took me years of asking God every day to help me forgive someone who had hurt me so terribly. Yet, once I was able to forgive, I was able to move on and have a much healthier attitude toward everything and everybody.

In my early teens, I remember being extremely angry with someone. One day, seeing my continued anger, my step-dad asked why I would allow someone else to control my emotions in such a negative manner. I went through all the horrible things that person had done to me (according to my teenage angst), explaining to my step-dad why I had a right to be angry. He simply told me that the only person my anger was hurting was me.

His statements did not make much sense at the time, but just a few short years later struck a chord. I again was extremely angry with someone and allowed my anger to grow. Before I knew it I was getting wrinkles and gray hair, and I was only in my 20’s! My step-dad’s words rang back to me at that point and I realized just how right he was. My anger was affecting my relationships with family and friends, making me old before my time, and I ended up with an ulcer for which I had to take medication. I realized the hate and anger I was holding onto against someone who had hurt me was only hurting me more.

There are many studies, including the oldest one of all, The Bible, which warn against the health hazards of not forgiving. Just reading these studies should help you to make the decision to forgive those who hurt you so you can live a life free of the pain others inflict. If you prefer medical reference, the Mayo Clinic gives a broader explanation of the health benefits of forgiveness.

In short, forgiveness is for your benefit, not for that of the person who caused you pain. Although, you will find that your forgiveness of that person will allow others to forgive you of your mistakes. It may even bring the person who hurt you to understand and reciprocate the love that you showed in your forgiveness of their actions.  Just remember, anger begets anger, but love begets love. Even an unruly, out of control child often only needs a hug in order to calm down and become the sweet little angel you know that child really is. So remember, hate and anger tears you up; forgiveness sets you free and you can choose to share the love instead wherein lies your success!

Introduction

Welcome to Gramama’s Corner, where you can share in stories about life, love, children, home, work and any other little tidbits. I don’t know about you, but my grandmothers were a wealth of information on all of the above. Now that I am a grandmother, I understand even more adamantly, how precious their little life tidbits of wisdom were. The information and experiences they shared gave me such a firm grounding for learning and growing. So now, I would like to share these with you.

Some of the experience and advice I will share will not work for everyone; we are all individuals with our own directions. Yet, it never hurts to hear something different which could allow you options to provide to you some thoughts on a more diverse level.

Gramama’s Corner is not meant to replace medical or psychological help. In fact, I highly suggest that if you have a medical or psychological issue, you contact your family physician immediately to receive the professional help you may require.

The information that I share on this site is mostly my own opinion and is not meant to be offensive or deriding in any way. We all have our own beliefs and opinions and I am merely sharing thoughts on how to make life a joy.

Just a little background about me: I was a funeral service professional for more than 20 years. I have a degree in psychology and working on a degree in sociology, am a certified celebrant and public speaker and best of all, I am a grandmother to two beautiful baby boys!

If you do not agree with something I have written, please feel free to state your own opinion; just keep it civil. People hear you better when you whisper, than when you yell. Additionally, if you have helpful information from your own grandmothers or experience, please feel free to share. Again, keep it civil and positive. This blog is meant to increase love, joy and happiness.

Thank you for sitting in Gramama’s Corner with me!

My family
My family