So many times I think I've taken for granted the fact that I've known and had close relationships with all 4 of my grandparents. I certainly appreciate it more as I get older.
My children have known all but one of their great-grandparents. When I say they have known them, I mean they've had a relationship with them, and I hope they will remember them for the rest of their lives. My children have been blessed to have their great-grandparents and grandparents for funny conversations on the phone, attending their birthday parties and ballgames, sleepovers, and spending time visiting with them in their homes. Unfortunately, for my paternal grandparents, these visits have included hospitals and nursing homes in the last couple of years, but these special relationships can't be hindered by the location of the ones you love.
I read in my ParentLife magazine last night that helping your child make a connection with their heritage helps them develop a sense of who they are. (Makes sense to me.) I realize there are circumstances that don't allow some people to connect with their heritage, while others make a choice not to. It actually is hard for me to imagine the sad truth that there are so many people disconnected from their families. If you know your family's heritage, consider yourself blessed, as I do, and tell your children or family about your family history. It doesn't have to be "fancy stuff"; mine certainly isn't. My heritage includes happy,wonderful times interlaced with disappointments and struggles.
But it is who I am.
And these people are just part of my heritage.
This is my dad's father, Jeryl Banford Phillips.
He was born in 1920 and fought in France during WWII. I can't begin to imagine what he saw and experienced while serving our country. I know he spent many years of his life after the war fighting depression and post traumatic stress disorder. He was a gentle, caring, active grandfather who loved fishing and working on motors. He helped me pick out my first car, a used red Honda Prelude, which he called a "peppy" little car. Thus, my friends and I dubbed the car "Peppy" when we were being silly and giving our cars names at 17 years of age. Papaw had 2 sisters, both are deceased. I only knew one of his sisters, Evelyn. She lived in Jackson, too. I met his other sister, but I don't remember her at all really. She always lived in another state.
Papaw died of cancer almost 3 years ago. God allowed it to be a quick process. He went into the hospital in October 2009 and died in March 2010. During that time, I drove to Jackson as much as I could with my kids so we could visit with him in the nursing home before he died. I was driving home from work the day my mother called me to tell me he was gone. I think he passed away peacefully.
The name of this blog which, of course, is part of a Bible verse, was chosen from a scripture book that sat on my Mamaw's coffee table at my grandparents' house in Jackson, TN. I spent a lot of time there. My grandparents spent the majority of their married lives in that little house on Lesa Drive. A nice, quiet neighborhood with lots of trees and nice neighbors. Pulling up in their driveway and seeing one of them standing in the door anticipating our arrival is a memory forever etched in my mind. Even before cell phones, they somehow knew we would be there soon. If I close my eyes, I can smell their house which usually smelled of freshly brewed coffee. They were avid coffee drinkers, for sure. I don't think I inherited that gene as I have just started enjoying small amounts of coffee this past year. I have always loved the smell, though. :) I can see the rooms in their house, the furniture, the backyard and my grandfather's shop out back. They are like clear photographs in my mind. The pictures of my dad as a baby and young man hanging in the hallway, the kitchen table which now resides in my house, the wooden high chair in the kitchen that all 3 of my babies sat in at one time or another; all of these things, crystal clear in my mind's eye.
Stay with me here...I am writing this for the sake of our family yearbook, remember?:)
I knew both of my grandparents' parents. That's right, I can remember all four of them. Regina Belle (What a funny little woman who, like me, was born on Sept. 4th.) and Lyle Lilburn Phillips, my Papaw's parents. Ed Augusta and Lois Pearl Wamble, my Mamaw's parents. I can remember their houses in Jackson, TN. I remember my great-grandparents', the Wambles', house the most. I discovered my love for butterscotch discs from the candy dish that always sat on my great-grandmother's coffee table. She had polio as a child and walked with a limp. My great-grandfather Wamble had big hands and loved to watch wrestling on T.V. Both lived into their 90's, and I was an older child when they passed away. I don't have much memory of their funerals, but I think that's how it should be...Remember the living moments, not the dying ones. I am extremely blessed to have known these people and to have come from these people. People who were not perfect or famous, but good people who lived by God's standards and valued family. I could say so much more about the memories I have, and believe me, I will take advantage of moments with my children to tell them more. I will tell them what they see on this page is but a part of who they are, and that none of this would be if it weren't for God. It is as He planned it...The good, the bad, the happy, and the sad. It's all a very important part of our family heritage.
Monday, January 7, 2013
Well, we are almost one week into the year 2013, and I hope it's not too late to wish everyone a happy new year! :) Sitting down at the computer to blog has been nearly impossible this week. Before our New Year celebration, I got all of the Christmas decorations down and the "Let it Snow" decorations up. I started back to work Wednesday morning, and the kids were back to school on Thursday and Friday. We joined a local YMCA (thanks to a 3 month gift certificate) this week and the boys practiced with the YMCA swim team this past Friday afternoon. They did great! Mary Claire and I enjoyed the free swim time from the corner of the indoor pool, where we could watch the boys practicing. I think we will aim to go 2 days a week after school for the next 3 months. I'm thinkin' this is great physical activity for the winter! I have even given some serious thought to training in the pool myself to prepare for a sprint triathlon...Oh my gosh, did I just say that outloud?! There is a nice mini triathlon in Tunica, MS in May that I just MIGHT set my sights on. :) Gives me butterflies in my stomach to think about it...got a lot of work to do.
I miss my running partner terribly! Jan still can't run due to his knee injury, and he hasn't been to a specialist yet. (I think I will have to make an appointment for him.) I know he misses running. I hated running this weekend without him! Saturday, I ran the Hill and Dale 8 miler in Shelby Forest with my friends, Anna and Whitney. Then Sunday, I started the 2013 Winter Off-Road Race Series with my mom and my Aunt Dinah.
The first trail race quickly reminded me how much I prefer running on the road to running in the woods. In my opinion, the trails require more work. The scenery is great, but the terrain is harder. Oh well, one down and 3 more to go for January and February.
We are excited about 2013 and had fun ringing in the new year with friends last week. Here's a couple of pictures of the kids getting in on the celebration...
On New Year's Day, we ate our "lucky foods" and took Mary Claire and Jonah to see a movie at the mall. (John Owen went to spend the night with his good friend, Hutch.)Mary Claire was super excited to ride the carousel before the movie!
We hope your 20thirteen is super exciting and that you and your family are blessed throughout the year!
Happy New Year!