July 12 – Grit

Hi and Happy Wednesday. Hope you are having a great summer.  We are but it is going fast.  I cannot believe that it is already one week after Independence Day. We are keeping busy with work and fun activities as well.

The writing prompt for today is Grit. There are several definitions of grit but I wanted to focus this writing on this one: “firmness of mind or spirit:  unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger; managed to survive by his or her grit and guile.”

Have you ever known anyone like this?  I have and am so happy to say that many of these people have been women. I am blessed to come from a long line of women with grit.  My grandmothers and great-grandmother were strong, had strong minds and spirits, and had courage on a daily basis.  My mother, mother-in-law, aunts, sister and sisters-in-law, cousins, and friends also have grit and courage. I like to think that I have it as well.

Have you noticed that people with grit also often have integrity, honor, and are caring and loving towards others. They are honorable people and are a pleasure to know and have in your corner. They have your back and you can count on them and they can count on you as well. This doesn’t always go hand in hand but seems to more often than not.

In today’s world, people seem to have these qualities or they don’t.  I want Ian to grow up to be someone who is honorable, honest, truthful, has integrity, does what is right because it is the right thing to do, is compassionate and caring to others, wants to help others, and wants to show and demonstrate love. I also hope that he knows and learns from people with these qualities.

Sadly many of today’s leaders do not have these qualities and that saddens me.  Instead people are out for their own selfish interests, lie as needed, harm others, don’t seem to care about anyone but themselves, and want to win at any cost.  Is that the norm we want for our children?  For ourselves?  I don’t think so.

Back to those strong women that I mentioned — Grandma Fran, Grandma Artha, and Great Grandma Gussie. There were all from a different era — the early 20th century.  They all had many hardships, problems, losses, pains, deaths, and found a way to continue and go on to have fulfilling lives.  They also had a lot of love, happiness, fun, laughter, and people who thought the world of them.

The top picture is of my mother on the left, me in the middle, and Grandma Artha on the right. The second one is me with Grandma Fran the year before Ian was born.  These are some of the many photos that I have of both of them.

Many different things were expected of women in their days. Two of them were wonderful  teachers who enriched many children’s lives. The other was a secretary for many years and helped her office be successful and thriving. They all worked hard and took care of their families.

I knew and loved both Fran (Grams) and Artha (Grandma).  I loved to talk with them about any number of topics and listen to their life experience. They were both characters who were very passionate about life, their husbands, their children, and their grandchildren.  From each of them, I learned about love, friendships, acceptance, and family. I am forever grateful to both of them for all that they taught me.

I was only with Great-Grandma Gussie when I was a baby.  I did, however, just read, type, and edit her writings for a family genealogy book.  She wrote about the time when she and my great-grandfather put claim on a homestead.  With a baby (Grandma Artha), they went out to claim a piece of property with no running water, no electricity, no permanent homes, and no horse and buggy or car of their own.

They managed to build a very small home with a kitchen, bedroom, and small living area, helped create a community with a school building/church, took care of sick neighbors, and had access to food, sometimes in sparse quantity.  Talk about amazing grit.

I wondered if I could have done that when Ian was a baby.  I just don’t know but would like to think I’d have it in me to succeed as they did.  I truly appreciate these women with grit.  For that matter, there are a lot of men in my life who also have it.  I will have to write about them another time.

Take care and Happy Summer!

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