Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Be Ye Kind

This last week, our church had our Mother Daughter Luncheon called "Our Mother's Apron" (read more about my crazy apron obsession here). I took several aprons down to the church to be used as decorations, and as I was ironing them, I came to my grandma's apron. I love that apron- not only is it beautiful, and well made, but it's a sweet reminder of my grandma. As I was ironing it, I started thinking about the legacy that my grandma left behind.

My grandma passed away almost 15 years ago. Logically, it seems like that might be a long time ago... but to all of us who knew her and love her, it seems like yesterday. We still talk about her often... we still tell stories about things she did or said.... we still have things she made or bought at a garage sale for 50 cents... I carried yellow roses at my wedding in her memory... we all still run into people who knew my grandma who tell us what a sweet and special lady she was. My grandma fought a long and painful battle with cancer, and I'm glad she's not suffering anymore, and I'm glad we'll see her again, but thinking about her always brings a smile to my face and a little tear to my eye. She was a godly woman, and obviously, one that her family thinks about often.

So, what made her so special? What made her someone that is so sorely missed all these years after her homegoing? What qualities should I seek to cultivate in my life if I want to leave a legacy like she left? For me, it all boils down to one word: kindness. My grandma loved the Lord, she loved her family, and she loved people. My grandma was a beautiful, funny, smart, talented woman- but the thing that we all remember the most about her wasn't that she was gorgeous, or witty, or could make pretty much anything she saw in a book or TV (although those things are all true)... it was that she was kind. She lived out Ephesians 4:32: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Through my grandpa's job & political work, my grandma got to hobnob with some pretty fancy people, but she never treated them any differently than she treated her grandkids, or the teller at the bank, or the kids at church, or anybody with whom she came in contact. Before I got married, I worked at the newspaper in the town where my grandparents lived (my grandpa still lives there). Being a small town, people always asked me if I was related to anyone in town. When I mentioned that I was Bob Willis' granddaughter, 9 times out of 10, I would hear "Your grandma sure was a sweet lady." I even had one lady tell me that my grandma always made her day. What a legacy and a testimony to leave behind... 15 years later, that's what my grandma is remembered for!

Of all the ways that I want to be like her, the one I strive for the most is to exhibit her sweet spirit. I can't really control if I'm as pretty as her, or if I'm as quick witted, or if I'm as smart, or if I'm as resourceful... those are all things that, more or less, you're given by God- but I can work to be kind. Someday, I'd like the memory that people have of me to be that I made a difference in their lives because I was kind.

My grandma & grandpa- pretty, right?

My grandparents with my aunt, my mom, and my uncle

My grandparents, my grandpa's parents, me, Luanne, and Valerie

My grandma and me

My grandma at their house in Minnesota

My grandma and her mom

My grandparents & my great- grandparents

My grandma at the Grand Canyon

My grandparents
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. I Cor 13:13 

The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. Psalm 16:6

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