I would like to introduce you to my great grandmother, Mildred. She was born August 23, 1921 in a small town in Georgia. Grandma lived in this same general area until her 90th birthday when she packed up a few things and moved across the country to live with my grandparents (who happen to live right next door to me). Over the last 3.5 years, it has been a special experience for me to have my great grandma so close by. She is truly a remarkable, amazing, beautiful person and I want to share a few of the things she has taught me.
- Love God. Grandma has a solid testimony of our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ. That knowledge is everything to her. She and grandpa were a young, newlywed couple when two Mormon Missionaries knocked on their door. Nearly a year later, they were baptized. From that day on, they have spent their lives in the service of God. Grandma currently teaches the 17 year olds in Sunday School. My brother and I are taught by her each week. The teenagers love her and we are so blessed to learn from a truly Christlike person. We love hearing about her life and her wise counsel for our generation. Grandma is constantly writing notes, baking treats and doing acts of kindness for others. Her love for the gospel shines through her eyes and her smile. You just feel good being around her.
- Choose to be happy. Grandma says this all the time. She believes that happiness is a choice. Everyone will experience difficulty, heartache and sorrow from time to time. Choosing to be positive makes all the difference. Grandma has watched loved ones struggle with alcoholism and the heart break of divorce, she has lived through losing a child, she lovingly cared for grandpa for many years before he died. Through all of these hard times, she has chosen to be happy. To quote grandma, “It is true that in each life some rain must fall- but my life has had few showers and miles and miles of sunlit paths.”
- Be confident and look to the future with faith. At age 93, my Grandma is filled with faith and confidence in the future. She dresses to the nines whenever she goes out. She wears jewelry and hairbows and she has more shoes than any other girl I know. In the warm months, she can often be seen walking on the jogging path in our neighborhood. She reads and studies the scriptures each day. Last year she read the entire Bible, Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants. She keeps her memory sharp by memorizing poems and a couple of years ago she memorized The Living Christ and earned the LDS Church’s Young Women Recognition Award. She enjoys family history work and she has indexed over 10,000 names. One of my favorite things about Grandma is that she is open to learning new things. She has an iPhone and iPad, and she knows exactly how to use them. She is great at texting, too!
Grandma always says that each season of life that she is in is the best season. She is one of the reasons that this season of my life is so great. She is my grandma, but more importantly she has immensely changed my life. She is truly my hero and my friend. Though we may be far from the same age, I am so thankful for her advice, our little talks, her incredible lessons, her genuine kindness… and of course her phenomenal baking. Thank you Grandma for being the kind of woman I want and hope to be.