Sunday, May 3, 2015

Happy Birthday, Grossmama!

Happy Birthday, Grossmama!

This is a photo of my grandmother as a young woman. Isn't she beautiful? She was born on May 3rd in 1891.

That's a LONG time ago, my friends.

One hundred and twenty four years, to be exact.

I know what you're thinking. How is that even possible? Well, my mother was the youngest child of her family, born when my grandmother was in her forties. Imagine what a surprise that must have been! And consequently, I, too, am the youngest child of my family, born when my mother was in her mid thirties and surprised to be having another baby after six, count 'em, six children.

Yes, that's right. 1891. Just think of that! This man was president of the United States at the time:

 Benjamin Harrison, from the state of Indiana. 1891, when people were still talking about the Civil War, the assassination of Lincoln, and the reconstruction of the south.

My grandmother was born in a little town in Germany. She married and had babies. She saw Kaisers come and go. During the Weimar Republic, she witnessed firsthand the devaluation of the Deutchmark, when it took a wheelbarrow of money to buy a loaf of bread.

Strange times.

She and her husband packed up their belongings and their babies, sailed an ocean, and came here:

Ellis Island. A new country. A new life. A new adventure.

I am thinking of Grossmama today, not only because it is her 124th birthday, but because of her spirit of adventure. She took a lot of risks in her time, leaving behind the safe and known to start life over in the unknown.

I wish I could ask her a few questions. Were you scared? What did you miss most about home? What was the biggest blessing that came of your great adventure? What did you regret leaving behind? What was the most important thing you carried with you into your new life?

As my family prepares to set sail on this new adventure, I hope that I can pass down my grossmama's legacy of bravery to my children. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Be bold. Try the new thing. Go for that new career. Move to that new city. Hike along the road less traveled. Meet new people. Taste new foods. Embrace the new, but remember the old. This is the day that the Lord has made. Rejoice and be glad in it!

Chart your course and set sail, like Grossmama. Be an adventurer, someone who will be thought of one hundred and twenty four years from now.

That's quite a legacy.

1 comment:

  1. I always remember Grandma's birthday too- she was the greatest and I look forward to hugging her again one day! xo