Saturday, November 3, 2007

Life Lessons from a Wise Woman

I attended the funeral of my 94 year-old grandmother Saturday. My grandmother was widowed unexpectedly in 1958 and left to raise 12 children, with limited resources. She was an extraordinary woman who inspired many. At the reception following the funeral many of her children and grandchildren spoke of their memories of her. One of my aunts told this story.

As a young girl of 8 or 9, Teri was harrassed relentlessly by her six brothers to stop biting her nails. They went to their mother in hopes she would tell Teri to stop. Instead, my grandmother told them to leave her alone. "She can stop, and she will when she's ready." This simple comment told my aunt her mother believed in her. It gave her the confidence to quit biting her nails on her own.

Teri recalled this lesson many times in her life. When she was tempted to make excuses for herself she was reminded that she has a choice and she controls her own destiny. This is what my grandmother did - she made people believe in themselves.

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