Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Celebrating Life - No Matter What Age We Are

In June of 2008, my husband, children and I traveled to St. George to visit my Grandma Ashman. She was the inspiration for my book, "A Candle in the Window." Grandma has always been like a second mom to me and is one of the most wonderful, faithful women I have ever met. The main reason we wanted to see her was because we knew she was on her death bed and we wanted to see her one last time. Grandma was 99 at the time. We were sad to see her go but ready to let her pass on. My Grandpa Ashman died in 1967. She's been alone a long time and misses him terribly. We were excited for her to be with him again, and her mother she'd lost when was only 8 years old. These reunions with loved ones would bring her much joy and help us not miss her so much.

I've spent a lot of time with my grandma and have always loved hearing stories of her childhood and life. She told me about being a young girl in Scipio, Utah, and how she saw an airplane fly overhead for the first time and what a thrill that was for her. I thought about when I was a little girl and saw on black and white TV, a man walk on the moon for the first time. I think of all the inventions she's seen in her life, all the advances in science, all the wars and global happenings, and the miraculous growth of the gospel and I wonder, if I live to be her age, what amazing things will I witness?

Well, it is now the end of January, 2009, and guess who is still with us . . . my dear, sweet grandmother. She is actually quite sick of the rest home and wants to go back to her home and live. I have always loved her spunk and vigor. She served a full-time mission to Arkansas and when I was struggling with some decisions in my life, she was the one who suggested that I go on a mission and then supported me when I went. Her strength, her zest for life, her positive outlook, unconditional love and her unwavering faith, is a legacy she has passed on to all of her children and posterity. She has always made the best out of every situation and has lived her life to the fullest.

I turn 50 this year. She turns 100. I'm pretty sure I'll make it to my birthday, and I hope like crazy that she makes it to hers. But if not, she will receive a welcome home party fit for a queen. Here's to celebrating life no matter what age we are!


Gale Sears said...

Thank you for sharing your sweet grandmother with us. We do have much to celebrate, don't we? Wise and wonderful older women have so much to teach us.

Jennie said...

How easy it is to dismiss those who are hovering near the century mark as irrelevant to today's world, but as you pointed out, we owe them much for the values they instilled in us and for the lessons they give us on valuing life.

Anna Jones Buttimore said...

Wow - 100! Last week would have been my Grandmother's 100th birthday, had she lived, and she was a fantastic woman too. I know you treasure this time you have with her.

Cheri J. Crane said...

Michele, your grandmother sounds like a wonderful woman. =)Here's to grandmothers everywhere who are a tremendous influence in our lives.

Jeri Gilchrist said...

I loved reading about your grandmother, Michele. It made me miss my own who is not much younger than yours! Bless their hearts for their love and influence in our lives.