"He said to me I was a tree in a story about a forest, and that it was arrogant of me to believe any differently. And he told me the story of the forest is better than the story of the tree."
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
I recently spent a morning visiting with my amazing grandparents. My sweet Mom and I packed up the girls and made the 90 mi. trip to wonderful Watkins, MN.
Sadie and Lauren did their usual horsing around. You know, Lauren performed her cute "tricks" and Sadie lifted her shirt while bouncing on the couch, telling stories about her new puppy and her boyfriend, Drew. I so adore watching the glimmer in my Grandpa and Grandma's eyes as they watch their great-Granddaughters toddle around their neat, and tidy home.
Just after lunch [my Mom brought an amazing picnic style lunch!! THANK YOU, Mom!], my Mom and I sat down next to my Grandparents as my Grandpa opened up a very large photo album titled "Our life".
And the book really was that, their life in picture form!
I have seen some of these pictures in the past... but this particular morning, I got to really SEE them, and hear the stories behind them. Fascinating.
In 1951, my grandparents met at a 'farm animal feed supply' store in town. My grandma was the beautiful young secretary, my grandpa was the handsome young farmer who walked in to pick up his order. My Grandpa's words, "I went in to get chick feed, and I found my Chick!"
Next came 1952, my Grandpa was drafted over to Korea for the war. There he was a Medic for two years. He told several stories of the friends he made, the horror he was a part of, his duties and the culture in Korea. I could have sat and listened for days.
Then, 1954 brought my Grandparents wedding! The stories continued to flow as we went from page to page. Pictures of their home filled with friends, hired help on their farm, family and cousins having a pig roast and playing on giant hay piles. My Mom and her siblings doing chores and playing with farm animals.
I got teary eyed a few times as I took in the beauty of their life. I realized, we are all a miracle. How we came to be, How our parents happened to meet, how our grandparents survived wars and how their ancestors survived fatal diseases. Wow, it just hit me!
God is always at work behind the scenes in our lives.
As we neared the end of the book, Sadie took interest and I treasured every moment as she listened to her Great grandparents tell her stories about her Grammy and mommy when they were little. So beautiful.
My Grandparents never sought out college, or pursuing a prestigious title. They worked hard and they invested themselves in the people around them. Their life was and is blessed; filled to the brim, then overflowing, and filled up over and over again.
One of my favorite stories was about a boy who came to work on their farm for the summer. He was known to be a bit wild and he was getting bad grades in school. His father was an alcoholic.
As this boy was taking a break one day, my dear Grandma took him aside and told him: "You are smart! You do great work for us! You need to get better grades in school!" And, as the story goes. This boy got all A's next quarter. (I like to think that my Grandma was the first adult who really believed in him & challenged him!) Imagine the way his new outlook bettered the people around him.
My new mindset & goal: to have a book full of pictures that will inspire my Grandchildren in the same way.