I was very blessed to have two wonderful grandmothers. One lived with us most of my life. I absolutely adored her and have always considered growing up with her one of the greatest gifts my parents ever gave me. I only saw my other grandma a few times a year. I didn't truly appreciate her, who she was and how much I am really like her until after she died a few years ago.
My dad used to tell me a quote once that she used to use when he was growing up. I was thinking it about it today. My cousin was also told this quote by her father. The quote is slightly different for both of us as I am sure my dad and my uncle remember it different from their mother. This is from my dad: "It is a misquote from "H.W. Longfellow's A Palm of Life. She quoted it, and I am probably misquoting her, as "Up and at it with a gay and cheerful heart, still achieving, still pursuing, learn to labor and to start". I am just now starting to know what it all means.
"Up and at it with a gay and cheerful heart..." I am a morning person. I jump out of bed each morning. Well, maybe not jump but I am ready to start the day. I think she was too. And what better way to start the day then with a cheerful heart.
"Still achieving and pursuing..." My grandma was very educated. She didn't have a lot of formal education. But she knew how important education was. Learning is a life long event. Learning is more than books and school. The importance of education was passed down to her sons and her grandchildren. I know I got my love of learning, my drive and my curiousity from her.
She was definitely go-go-go, always working on something. I like to go-go-go. This leads to my inpatience which I probably got from her too. My dad told me that the original quote said something about "learn to labor and to wait." My grandma was a hard worker. My grandma was not a wait-er. I am not a wait-er. I remember when I was about 12, we visited Niagara Falls. After seeing it from every angle possible, I was ready to go. My dad told me about his vacations as a kid. And that I am just like his mother. They would go somewhere, like the Grand Canyon, look at it and then move on. That is my favorite kind of vacation. I like to say we have vacation ADD - we cram as much stuff into 7 days as possible. Williamsburg suggested staying for 3 days, we would good with an afternoon there. :)
I'm proud to be just like my grandma. I am thankful that I can share a bit of her with my children through her favorite quote. I think she would be proud of all of us too.