I am a chronologically old woman, 7 decades measured and counting. Growing up in a nurturing protected neighborhood, that mythical village, my siblings and I shared the blessing of never having quite enough, of always being required to try harder.
Political correctness came long years later and our discipline included the occasional ‘good spanking’ to teach a lesson. The culture of that time believed in ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’, especially in questions of attitude. Mom and Dad struggled as the country climbed from the depression, giving us the best that was theirs to give.
We received our early formal education and training from women of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. Jesuits and Benedictines handled a large part of our college educations. Discipline and humility held up the foundation.
Two marriages to two good men gave my life balance, reality checks and the richness of ‘for better and for worse’. Each marriage extended my family and I am grateful for what I have learned from each member of that very large group.
Marriage gave me the most precious gifts of my life–my five children. Each of them fills me with awe and appreciation. Their gifts are strong and enduring. Life situations have not always treated them gently, but they handle what happens and they move through it.
My education provided me with a paycheck for doing what I would liked to have been able to do for free. Teaching was a 28 year ‘fire-in-the-belly’ that never banked.
Through my time from childhood to crone I have often been overwhelmed by the generosity of friends, colleagues, neighbors and acquaintances. These past four months are powerful life lessons in the blessings of enduring support.
And now? Now I am Grandma/Nana. No one could be more blessed by the lives of the five grandchildren who gave me my new titles. With my wedding band, I wear a five stone mother’s ring given to me about 30 years ago. Next to those two rings, I wear a five stone grandmother’s ring that I gave to myself 18 years ago.
Rings on my finger, blessing of my life.