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Perhaps your life doesn’t seem all that exciting. Maybe, like most people, you get into your groove and continue on autopilot. Your everyday happenings come and go. As the years passed, you don’t know where all the years have gone. A birthday here, an anniversary there, a vacation, a promotion, an esteemed purchase, or possibly a death become the hallmark that sums up the years of your life. If this is you, you’re in good company. Most of our journeys follow such a path.

 

Now, let’s say that your thoughts have dared to entertain thoughts of transitioning into the realm of life beyond the grave. If you have, more than likely, you’ve considered what memorable moments you’d like shared about your pilgrimage here on this earth. Here comes the daunting task of pulling these moments together. The good thing–you still have time to sort through all the memories and find your life story. 

 

On the other hand, you may find yourself in the throws of sorting through the memory vault in your effort to find someone else’s story; a loved one’s life story. My heartfelt prayer of comfort and guidance I send to you. May I suggest that we walk this process out together? First, let’s get a few people involved in finding your story pieces. Remember, there’s always a story just waiting to tell. Ask what did your loved one bring to the party. By that, I mean, what did you enjoy or appreciate most about your loved one? Ask others the same. Take these memory snapshots and place similar ones together. If you’re looking for your own story, do the same, and remember to involve others. It may feel a bit uncomfortable, but ask others what they most appreciate and enjoy about you and what you bring to their party of life. In your search, everyone gets an opportunity to celebrate those overlooked party favors that we each bring to the table. 

 

I’ve learned to take everyday events and find moments to celebrate. For me, I find story treasures in the memory of spending time with my godmother, Annie B. I enjoyed watching her make a savory mushroom meatloaf gravy. I haven’t eaten meat in several decades, but this ordinary memory stands out to me as one priceless ordinary happening. Because of Granny, I don’t use red ink. In her attempt to edit my writing and make me a better writer, she’d bludgeon it so with red ink that all I could envision was a blood-drenched canvas with a sole standing sentence here or there. Little remained in the script that bore any resembles that I had anything meaningful to say. In hindsight, my writing desperately needed these alterations, but come on, Granny. Give a girl a break. In years to come, when my time came to apply the editor’s pen to paper, I chose green ink. I wanted writers to thrive, so I’d ask questions about what to me seemed awkward in their script. I’m sure my precious Granny wanted me to thrive too, but she forced me down the path less traveled. I kicked and screamed, snotted, and cried all the way, but she got me through the path before she left this earth. I am forever grateful for the mushroom gravy and meatloaf Sunday dinners and all those editing calisthenics that Granny used to train me all those years ago. What seemed a mundane task of helping a young girl find her path warms my heart in my precious Granny Annie’s absence. 

Now, it’s your turn. What ordinary, mundane memory comes to your mind and warms your heart when you think about a loved one brought to your life party? Maybe, you remember a simple phrase or a song that your loved one often said or sang. I still hear my Granny chide, “If you had a brain, you’d be dangerous.” “You better hurry up and come over and hear what I have to say before I die.” My response, “Granny, you’ve been threatening me with that for years. Knock it off.” On the afternoon of January 30, held our last phone conversation when her niece, Connie, contacted me and handed Granny the phone:

“Hey, Granny” 

            “I’m so sick. I’m so sick.”

“Granny, I’m on my way. Don’t you die before I get

there. You hear me, Granny?” “I’m on my way.”

             “Ok.”

My godsister, Nikki, drove me from Los Angeles to Loma Linda Hospital. I rushed into Granny’s room, and there she lay. So weak, but she sat up and leaned forward. I rubbed her back and prayed. I told her how much I loved her and appreciated how she took an interest in helping me when I arrived at Trinity at thirteen without family. Annie B and a few others took me in as her family, but Annie B, my Granny, walked with me for the rest of her life. I called her Sis Wright, then Sis Annie, but after my daughter was born, she referred to herself as Granny, and that’s who she was, Granny to my children and grandchildren. On that final visit, we embraced, and then I departed. I hadn’t thought it through. If I had, I would have come alone to remain with Granny, but I am forever grateful that she did hold on until I and her nephew Richard arrived. At midnight on January  31, 2011, I received a call from Connie letting me know that Aunt Annie, Granny Annie, made her exit from this realm and entered the gates of the heavenly realm. 

Trust me. Your stories await you among the everyday, ordinary, mundane happenings of life. Let’s find your stories. I encourage you: Begin today.

 

Peace and Blessings

 

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