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Things We Can All Learn from an Old Bag!

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It never ceases to amaze me. While many folks in their 60's, 70's and 80's bemoan the inherent problems of old age, my 105-year-old grandma continues to look towards the future, with the zest and enthusiasm of someone 50 years her junior. It is no wonder that she continues to thrive emotionally and physically! She is always looking forward to something and never looking back.

When we were together last week over Christmas, we reminiscenced about certain past events and her response to my question about how much she misses my grandfather, who passed away 30 years ago, surprised me, but not really, all things considered.

“Once they are gone, they are gone,” she jokingly quipped. “You miss them briefly, but they are gone. What can you do about it?” She then scooped up a forkful of sweet potatoes and placed it in her mouth.

Not that she did not shed a well of tears when my grandpa passed away, but she knew the secret to her survival was to continue to move forward. She did not want to wallow in the misery of being a widow. She still desired a life of grand expectations and adventures! After all, when Grandpa died, she was just a spring chicken of 75!

Before I could say another word, however, Grandma wryly noted, “I don’t need a man, you know. When you have good food and good friends, who needs a man?” Yes, Grandma always finds contentment no matter what she is doing. She rarely lets a thing ruffle her feathers,and when things do get to her, she may temporarily bark and growl, but it is soon forgotten in anticipation of where she might be going to dinner that evening.

Stay tuned for more pearls of wisdom from an old bag who called me the day after Christmas and asked me, “When are you going to send your three boys (ages 11, 13, and 14) out to visit me? I can take care of them pretty darn well for someone my age!”

Yes, Grandma, I am sure you can. The question remains, however: Are the boys up to the challenge of you?

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EmpowHER Guest

That was the best video I have ever seen. I sat here with my roommate, watched this video and ended up with a box of tissues. Actually, I have such blurry vision trying to write this right now. Your Grandma should be so proud that she is so well deserved and loved. What an amazing story. If I could only be a small piece of her positivity, I would be proud to say that I have accomplished something and changed someone's life.

Thank you again!

January 1, 2010 - 11:43am
(reply to Anonymous)

All I can say is, YOU inspired ME today. I have been writing pieces of this book about my grandmother, and Bob Dole even contributed to it. I resolve this year to finish it and get it published! You will be credited in the book! Thank YOU!


January 1, 2010 - 12:30pm

Thank you so much for sharing. My heart goes out to you, it truly does. Just remember that the loved ones who passed on will always remain with you. My grandma told me once when I was young, and it still sticks to this day, as simple and generic as it may seem, but oh-so-true: "Everything happens for a reason in life. We may not know it now. We may not know it next week, next month, or even next year. Just take comfort in the fact that what happens to you today has a greater purpose for tomorrow." She did tell me last July that the one reason she is still alive is because there probably is not much room in Heaven right now! Take a peek at this video about her that may inspire you further:


Enjoy...have a blessed New Year, and my thoughts and prayers are with you. I truly admire you.


January 1, 2010 - 11:18am
EmpowHER Guest

Ann, this is such a great story. It really makes me realize what a great Grandma you have and how she has the best advice to live by in our everyday lives. I lost a husband in Iraq, lost a boyfriend on Christmas Eve and I could go on and on with the 'poor me' attitude. Live for today, right?

Thanks for this share. This was so inspirational to me today. I am going to try and live by this attitude in the new year. I just found my resolution. Thank you!

January 1, 2010 - 10:30am

Okay...you have to hold me accountable, then! A new decade...a clean slate...a fresh start! What is YOUR passion on which you want to work?

January 1, 2010 - 10:17am

"Seems I am always working on the things that pay the bills NOW, forgetting about what I truly want to do." I hear you! I am guilty of the same!!

Perhaps both our New Year's Resolutions should be to move the true passions closer to the front of the list? I will try if you will.....

January 1, 2010 - 8:32am

Thanks for your comments! I am always in the process of writing the book. I just need more fire under me.....seems I am always working on the things that pay the bills NOW, forgetting about what I truly want to do. After spending time with Grandma over the holidays, I am even more inspired. I have videos of her I will be uploading to You Tube to correspond with my writings about her. I even got one of her playing the grand piano at Christmas! Too cool to see someone her age do that!

December 30, 2009 - 8:49am


I so love hearing about your grandmother. She is so inspiring to me and, I am sure, to others who follow your writings about her.

Many people who lost a spouse at 75 would perhaps shut down, feeling like their life was mostly over, that their possibilities and potential were mostly used up. If we all acted like we had 30 more years to live at age 75, imagine what we might do differently!

Have you thought about writing that book?

December 30, 2009 - 8:31am
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