Conversations with a Centurion

I shared a sweet afternoon with my 100 year-old grandmother-in-law. Moments with her are always tender. She is generous with her love and she lavishly pours it out on her family. Her ancient soul is a fountain of humble and unassuming nuggets of wisdom that spill from her heart with abandon. I wish I had an alabaster jar to collect each pearl as it tumbles from her graceful lips. I would keep it close and release her timeless treasures daily as gentle companions to my modern world.

More than anything else, it’s all about relationship with the Divine. She calls it beauty. She says you can’t sell it for a million and you can’t buy it for a penny.

What’s passed is past. She’s so over the sentimental episodes of reminiscing about the past. According to grandma, it’s about today. Right now.

The first 100 years are the hardest. And they go by fast so don’t rush through the seasons of your life.

Sometimes you have to pretend you can’t hear. It assures the full attention of your partner in conversation.

Eat (and drink) what you want.  A bit of a sweet and a nip of something smooth are the simple pleasures!

You’re never too old to keep up appearances. Her hair is perfectly coiffed and her make-up is on.

True beauty radiates from within. Perfect hair and make-up only enhance the beauty that already radiates from the soul. If you must choose, choose the latter.

It is good to live in community. Playing bingo and bridge with new friends is a good idea.

Sit down to put your pants on. One wrong step could take away your independence.

Keep asking questions. You’ll never know it all.

Choose contentment.

Treat everyday like a new adventure.

Love unconditionally and without judgement.

For grandma’s 100th birthday celebration, her family wrote love notes to her. The over-arching theme in each note was how much she is loved, and how her life is an inspiration. I know I am better for having her gracious influence in my life. I hope when I am 100, my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren see something in me that is worth celebrating. Spending time with a centurion certainly gives new perspective on the boundless influence of a simply and honestly lived life.

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