Her favorite color was purple. It is now mine too!
Today is the 12th anniversary of the my paternal grandmother’s sunset. I loved Dora Nelson a lot. She was 75 when Cancer took her from us so abruptly and so callously. I think of her often, but this morning she was heavy on my heart as I pondered my own life, and the more than a decade that has passed since she left us that early fall morning. I was standing in my bedroom in my apartment with my best friend from law school. We were ironically preparing to go to New Jersey to see her as she had been sick since that May. It was my practice to see her every weekend, send her cards and scriptures daily, and speak to her as often as I could. It was the year 2000. The new millennium. A new time of promise and opportunity.
As I reflect on her passing and more importantly her living, I smile. Of the many lasting things she taught me–here are just a few lessons I keep with me daily and hope to pass on to my own nieces and children someday:
1. Never Cut What You can Untie. This is her most precious sentiment shared with me. It is the truth. It will always be the best course in life when we find ourselves at a crossroads in our relationships and have to ponder whether or not we cut, burn the bridge or untie it so that maybe some day we can come back better, stronger, wiser and more able. Not a day goes by that I don’t reflect on this saying because it has saved me much grief. People are redeemable. They are valuable and they can be restored with time when they fail us as we will fail them. Try untying instead of cutting it works wonders. Trust me.
2. There is a running day and a catching day. I love this saying of hers. Her point was simple: We all write checks in life with our character and behavior, we write good checks and bad ones. And sooner or later we have to present those checks for payment. They will either be cashed or marked, returned for NSF. Her point: We may think that we can run amok, do harm, not care how we treat others, but one day–it will be our turn in the barrel she used to tell me. Sooner or later we will pay for our deeds. It is a certainty of life. Treat people well. Be kind. Apologize when you are wrong. Show Grace. Don’t be a Hypocrite. (She hated hypocrites)
3. There is a rag for every bush (yes she said this): Her South Carolina country way of saying–there is somebody for everybody. That love can find you even if you are battered, torn and ragged. Love can be found in the strangest of pairs–even between an old discarded rag and a bush. She was a romantic. I got that from her earnestly. She believed that anything was possible, especially when it came to love.
I miss you Nana. You were one the best gifts life has ever given me. I know that this morning when I prayed to God and laid my heart open about those things that are troubling me, perplexing me, and holding me that you were present. I felt your spirit telling me to keep the faith. I will. You know I will. Until we meet again Nana.
Thank you for the gifts you left behind.
Love, Sophia (your 1st born grandchild)