Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 15

I attended some friends' house warming party today. What it ended up being was a family reunion with some 20-25 people I'd never met before. I come from a large, close knit family, and as I alluded to in the previous post, I don't live near them. That being said, I felt right at home with this group of people I knew nothing about. I met a few people, but the person I want to focus on in this post is the matriarch. Well, who I perceived to be in charge, anyway. I was truly blessed to have met and spent time with this venerable lady.

Jeanne, or Grandma Jeanne as she introduced herself, is the kindest and most interesting person I've yet written about for this blog. For the sake of anonymity I'll not write about her life story, however I got a good portion of it during the short amount of time that we talked. One story I want to focus on is her recent hospital stay. She was attacked by a dog near her house. She told me a number of the injuries she sustained. I'm no doctor, but it sounded like she nearly died. She spent days in shock trauma recovering. She lost hearing in one ear. I'm sure she's still in pain. However, after telling me this intense and violent story, what she ended with touched me deeper than anything else. She said, "You know what? My children and grandchildren came together to help me, and that made it all worth while." I couldn't help myself. I gave her a huge hug. I don't think she even knew my name yet, and I gave her this big bear hug. I had no choice! Anyone who puts their family on that level of priority deserves recognition, or more accurately, an embrace from a complete stranger.

Jeanne taught me to look at the positive results of a situation. She didn't tell me that any of the injuries she suffered were good, but the part she focused on was the good that came from them. She also showed me that I should reemphasize the importance of loving my family. There are few things in life as important as one's family. It's too easy for me to forget that, especially being so far away from mine. Thanks, Grandma Jeanne. I hope I get to talk to you again, soon.

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