When I was nine years old I spent part of my summer vacation at my grandmother’s house. That summer, in a tiny Oklahoma town in the middle of nowhere, my “granny” taught me some invaluable life lessons through her example.
My granny taught me the value of hard work as we cooked, cleaned, canned and gardened. Granny was just months away from turning sixty that summer but she worked right beside me and probably did ten times the amount of work that I did.
She also played right beside me. She taught me that if you work hard you deserve to play hard too. We spent that summer swimming, exploring and catching butterflies and lightning bugs-together.
My granny also taught me about charity. Her possessions were small but her heart was huge. She always cared more about the needs of others than her own. If she heard that someone had a need she did her best to fill it. If she did not have the resources, she would not rest until she found someone that did.
I remember when I was very young, my granny would collect my extra toys and give them to children that she knew would not be getting any toys for Christmas. I really didn’t understand this at the time, and in all honesty, I was not very happy about it. In my view, I didn’t have any “extra” toys. Today, I cherish this memory and the example of selfless service that my granny was for me.
One of the greatest lessons that granny taught me was to have an eternal perspective. Granny’s favorite song was “This World Is Not My Home”. She sang it often. She was a happy, joyful woman no matter the circumstance. She knew that the trials, hardships and difficulties of this life were temporary. She knew that her home would one day be with her Heavenly Father.
It has taken me many years to fully understand and appreciate all of the lessons that my grandmother taught me that summer and throughout her lifetime. She has been gone nearly thirty years, but she lives on through me. Every good thing that I do and every act of service that I perform are a tribute to her, the example she set and the life she led. I hope and pray that one day I may leave a similar legacy through the life that I lead.