grandparents are our heroes when we are young. they spoil us and feed us all the candy only to return us to our parents completely wound up. they show us unconditional love and support as we grow older, despite our imperfections.
i want to start this journal by introducing you to my grandma, marcia. she is an absolute treasure with the energy of a teenager. she is not afraid to say what’s on her mind and is forever proud and supportive of her family. she has racked up a lifetime of experiences—both wonderful and challenging.
my grandma grew up with a lot of opportunities. she went on to study after high school during a time when women didn’t usually do that. she married at the ripe age of twenty, where she had a lot to learn as a wife and mother. she sewed her daughter’s entire wardrobes and made bellbottom pants for their friends. she could always keep up with the kids and was never afraid to host a party. she is an amazing bowler. she attended every milestone of her kids and grandkids. and although it was incredibly hard, she took care of my grandpa with love after he suffered a stroke and was paralyzed so that he could be at home rather than in a nursing home. that was a tough few years, but she was resilient and found perspective since his passing after more than sixty years of marriage.
when i chatted with her about this interview, gram said she was always the kind of woman who was old when she was young, and young when she became old, because of how she grew up.
what is the biggest challenge or opportunity you’ve faced and how did it shape who you are?
it took me a while to come up with this one because there have been many challenges that i could discuss, but one of the biggest was when i got married at age twenty. my husband was seven years older, and i was faced with a fresh dose of reality that made me grow up fast.
i was spoiled growing up, and a total daddy’s girl. i remember going in the kitchen and asking to help cook, but i was told that i’d make a mess so i wasn’t allowed in the kitchen. i was told not to make my bed because the sheets needed to be aired out. i asked to help with the dishes and was told to go practice piano, because anyone can do the dishes, but not everyone can play the piano.
so i did.
i look back and appreciate everything that i had as a girl, but i was totally unprepared for the adult world. i didn’t know how to cook. i barely knew how to clean. i didn’t know how to iron. i was incredibly embarrassed. it took me a long time to learn these skills, and i will admit that i was ready for a divorce by the end of our first year of marriage. but, we worked hard and figured it out.
and now, i stay active, go walking, bowl, travel, enjoy a glass of wine, and try to get the most from each and every day.
marriage is not easy, but it is great to have someone to grow through life with. and family is everything, especially as you get older.
what’s one word, thought, or philosophy that you live by?
“i can do all things through christ who strengthens me.”
“to thine own self be true.” —william shakespeare
true happiness is found when you are the most authentic version of yourself. our time here is limited, so make sure that you are living a life true to your standards and beliefs. don’t worry if people agree or disagree with you. have an open mind, but stick to your gut. this is the key to living a fulfilled life.
our gritbabe journal features ladies from all walks of life who have persevered, overcome, and achieved great success. if you have a story to share, get in touch.