I went home to Syracuse, New York for Christmas this year and yes, it was hectic, and yes the 12 hour plus car ride with 3 kids over the hills and thru the woods was at times painful (take me away Chardonnay), and yes, lugging all the gifts is annoying, and yes, attempting mass on Christmas Eve with a two year old and five year old who have skipped their naps is... well, how shall is say - unpleasant, and YES, trying to remember to bring that darn Elf on the Shelf (let alone remembering to move him once we arrived!) was irritating......
BUT, as I introduced my sweet son to my grandmother, Vera - who at age 96 - has still totally got it goin' on and is AMAZING, it all suddenly seemed OKAY. She is very sassy, and never misses American Idol! She will not answer her phone on Monday nights in the fall 'cause she has to watch Monday Night Football! She loves the Giants and HATES the Yankees by the way...and white zinfandel in the box is her fave!!!!!!
It got me thinking about what she has experienced over her 96 years: what she has overcome, what she has lost and what she has gained, what she has loved, and most importantly, what she has LEARNED. With each new year, what were her dreams? Her wishes? Her hopes? (Besides the Dodgers winning the World Series!) Obviously, I've known her all my life, but for some reason, this visit was different...it inspired me to watch her amongst her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Her "joie de vivre" is unparalleled. And she has never given up. EVER.
Crazy Vera then made me think of my other wonderful grandmother: Agnes. Sadly, she is no longer with us, but her words of wisdom as well her legacy remain vibrant in my life every day. Agnes was in one word: STRONG. BALLSY. BEFORE HER TIME. Ok, that was more than one word, but you catch my drift! The thing that stands out most in my memory of her (and that we constantly gave her grief about) is that she always gave us these crazy sayings/advice to live our life by. This one was my absolute favorite: "If you don't put your bread out on the water, it will never come back to you with jelly on it..." At 14, I was like, HUH?
Yet, as I sit here at age 40 (wow! that number was hard to write-ugh!), I know EXACTLY what she meant. According to Agnes, "Life is not a dress rehearsal, this is all we get. Make it count."
So, as we are all about to embark on a new year, let's take a cue from Vera and Agnes.
Muster up all your inner "joie de vivre".
Then go ahead, PUT YOUR BREAD OUT ONTO THE WATER. I dare you! And I don't mean the organic, wheat, gluten free, yadda yadda yadda kind. I mean a honkin' piece of good 'ol white Wonder Bread!
TAKE A CHANCE. Just go for it! And, don't give up. Ever.
Let's all make this year count in ways that are meaningful and inspiring to each one of us.
Rest assured, the jelly is GLORIOUS.
With Love from Me to Hue,