One hundred and fifteen years.


It was 115 years ago today that my Grandmother was born, in Rotterdam, Holland. She was an amazing woman who epitomized resilience, positivism and even temper.

She was alive, although too young to remember it, when the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk.

And she lived to an age where I could fax funny cartoons and comic strips to her in the nursing home.

She endured a life of hardship and loss, and remained a cheerful woman without bitterness.

She was not allowed to marry the man she loved, so she chose to throw herself into the marriage that was arranged for her and grew to love him so deeply that their marriage became a beacon on a hill.

I got to grow up with this amazing woman as an integral part of my life. Most of what I know about happiness and balance came directly from the lessons she taught me.

  • If you look for the good, you will surely find it. If you look for the evil, you will find that too.
  • Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.
  • Marriage is not a 50-50 proposition. You each give 100%, and you each get 100%.
  • This, too, shall pass. 
  • You can not un-say an unkind word and you can't un-hurt someone's feelings.
  • Family is the most important, but there are priorities. Your spouse and your children are the first priority. All the rest of the family comes after them. 
  • Happiness is not something that finds you, is given to you, or that someone makes you. Happiness is something you build for yourself, every day, out of pieces large and small.
  • Sleep naked.
Thank you, Grandma, for your brilliant advice, words of wisdom and for your example of a life well-lived. Yours was never an easy life, but you made the most of it while you were here.

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