29 April 2010

Backtracking a bit...

We were having internet problems on Monday, then the rest of the week...well, I'm a bit behind on my blogging. But I can't let it go by without celebrating the fact that Grandma Weseloh would have been 100 years old on Monday the 26th.

Grandma is the "Clara" in Kayci Clara, and one of my all-time favorite people in this life. You know the person who is always there to cheer you on, the one who encourages you no matter what? And the one who also throws in the things you need to hear but don't necessarily want to hear (who can forget the spring before my wedding when she informed me that I was getting "broad in the beam"...it hurt to hear, but it was true, I did gain 10 pounds during student teaching!)...Grandma was one of a kind. She's my earliest memory, and the person who taught me about unconditional love (you know, you can't always appreciate that stuff in your parents until you get older). Grandma's house was home away from home, even though she lived over 500 miles away. Back in the old days, that was a major trip, but we still made it once or twice a year. God bless my parents for that...it couldn't have been easy with the three of us.

Grandma, Kansas, and my Weseloh cousins are a huge part of who I am...my roots. It's not too hard to figure out that James and I are living the life we are now, in the place we are now, because a simple life is all I've ever aspired to. (Well, other than a few years in college when I was sure I would be rich someday...never figured out how to accomplish that on a teacher's salary!) I think Grandma would approve of the little green house and our life here, even though I'm sure she wouldn't be a big fan of all the technology. A TV was about as techie as Grandma got...I don't think I'd even attempt to explain the internet to her if she was around today. :)

For Grandma's 90th birthday, we wanted a special invitation. This poem just seemed to fit, as it's always reminded me of Grandma. It hangs on my wall today to keep me in check when I get my priorities mixed up, which happens far too often for comfort. :)

"My Symphony"

by William Henry Channing

To live content with small means;
To seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion;
To be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich;
To study hard, think quietly,
Talk gently,
Act frankly;
To listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart;
To bear all cheerfully,
Do all bravely,
Await occasions,
Hurry never.
In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common.

This is to be my symphony.

Grandma died in 2003, 8 weeks after her namesake was born. I know it's self-centered, but I do think she stuck around to meet Miss Kayci Clara. As soon as we got the go-ahead to travel with Bitty, we took her to meet Grandma. That was the last time I had a lucid conversation with Grandma, and her final words to me were to raise Kayci to follow the right path.

Wow...big stuff this week. Happy belated birthday, Grandma...I'm grateful for you, and for all that you've given me and taught me. I am learning from your example, and your legacy, still.

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