kid and a elderly woman

Why Bother Relishing Life?

I lived with my grandmother for a short time during my early teens. Living with her, I learned the value and the pleasure that came from hard work, perseverance, and a job well done. 

Scrubbing the kitchen floor, hanging the laundry on the clothesline or making a pie crust was not drudgery nor an obligation for Grandma. Rather, whatever she did, she did with gusto, zest, enthusiasm and joy. 

Then, at the end of each day, she knew how to kick off her shoes, relax in her recliner, and watch a program or two on the television that made her laugh with glee. 


Granted, I did not know Grandma when she was being raised on a farm as the eldest of sixteen kids. Nor did I know her during the years she was married to Grandpa and raising her four children as a young mother. 

But, she’d tell of the antics her brothers and sisters pulled. They all liked pulling practical jokes. They were not well off, but knew how to take care of themselves and each other. They raised chickens, went fishing and grew a large garden. 

Grandma did not skate through life unscathed. While still growing up on the farm, she lost three siblings while they were still infants. One died of smallpox, one was stillborn and one died of jaundice. Then, one of her brothers, a young married man, died from the flu. 

Grandma also told of how she met Grandpa. She did not necessarily fall in love with him. Instead, she appreciated how he respected her, unlike other men, “If you know what I mean,” she’d add. 

Although Grandma only had an eighth grade education, not uncommon for that particular generation, she was intelligent. She read the newspaper to stay current on world affairs, and listened to commentaries on the radio. 

Though she adhered to the directives of the Catholic church, her faith was not limited by Catholicism. Instead, it expanded beyond the rules and regulations of any man because she knew that God expanded beyond man.

Why bother relishing life? Although Grandma lived a common, ordinary life, her life exuded a sense of joy that went beyond the common and ordinary. Her life infused mine with a sense of joy and pleasure that reaches beyond the common and ordinary. 


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