This past Saturday, we celebrated the birthday of a wonderful lady. My Grandmother, my last living grandparent, turned 90!! Back when she turned 85, we threw her a big party and invited all the relatives and friends and had a big time. This year, she only wanted the immediate family with her...something that typically only happens at Christmas (and sometimes in the summer). Back at Christmas we discussed the plans and knew that we should all show up in SC for that special weekend.
We had dinner at a nice restaurant, one we would probably not go to on a usual day. My aunt's friend came to the restaurant and took pictures of all of us out in the garden. We took pictures of each family, some of just us granddaughters, and some of the whole group. Of course, Quinn in his 2-year-old fashion, would not cooperate for pictures. We did get a couple of him running through the shots. As soon as I get these pictures, I'll do a post on that.
I decided that for Grandmother's 90th birthday, I would find out her secret to life. 90 years is a long time to be alive. She's had really good health up until the last few months where she has had a few complications. She has now lived longer than her parents did, and is currently the oldest member of our family....on both her mother's side and her father's side.
Here are Grandmother's 9 tips for living a long, happy, successful life....one tip for each decade of life!
1. Walk with the Lord. Grandmother reads her Bible and prays everyday.
2. Go to church. Grandmother was a member of the same church for 88 years. It was a small mill-village church that closed 2 years ago. It was a Methodist church not far from where she lives and her parents brought her there as soon as she was born.
3. Find true love and keep it forever! Grandmother married her high-school sweetheart and she was married to him for 42 years. She stood by him as he served our country in WWII and was gone to the Pacific. She stood by him as he was sick and was there with him when he passed away in 1982. She never loved another man. (Click here to see old pictures of them.)
4. Be loving, Godly parents. Grandmother was raised by Godly parents and she brought what she learned from watching her own parents into her marriage. She and my grandfather were also loving and Godly!
5. Work hard everyday. Grandmother worked hard around the home, raising her three children and keeping a lovely home. Later on she worked hard to keep her home a place her granddaughters would love to come to. I can remember seeing Grandmother working in the yard, in the garden, and around the house. She was always busy!
6. Exercise and be active. Grandmother was always doing something. One thing I will always remember is her and her sisters driving to the Y several times a week to do water aerobics. They only stopped going a few years ago, after her sisters' health prevented them from driving as much. (Grandma never learned to drive!)
7. Have good nutrition. Grandmother made many meals from scratch and grew fresh vegetables in her garden. Sure, she enjoys a bit of chocolate or something sweet every now and then...who doesn't? And we tease her about putting butter on her biscuits! But she typically is a healthy eater!
8. Never smoke or drink alcohol. This one needs no explanation.
9. Be surrounded by loving family and friends. Grandmother has always loved being with her family. She and her sisters were very close.....so close that all four of them lived next door to each other their entire lives! Our extended family (the kids and grand kids of her brothers and sisters) is as close as most people are with just their siblings.
I am so lucky to have such a wonderful example to live up to. I am so glad I was able to be there for her big, special day! Grandma, thank you for everything you've done for me over the years. You will never know how much you mean to me!
(one of my favorite pictures of Grandma...holding her great-grandson for the first time!)