This One Life

5 Things I Learned From My 91 Year Old Grandmother

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Yesterday, we celebrated my grandma’s 91st birthday.  We call grandma Wella.  Wella is a pistol.  She loves Jesus, her occasional sip of tequila and family.  Wella has never been to a mastermind event or a personal development workshop.  But with the wisdom she doles out, she’s a mastermind to me.  91 years of living teaches a thing or two.

Last night, Wella shared these five things with me.   Between laughter and tears, I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

(Spanish translations noted below.)

1.  “La gente mala tiene lenguas largas.  Te quebran con sus palabras. No los dejes.”  Bad people have long tongues. They will try to break you with their words. Don’t let them.

I feel this one loud and clear.  It also reminds me of the other side of that coin, “Be mindful when it comes to your words.  A string of some that don’t mean much to you, may stick with someone else for a lifetime.” -Rachel Wolchin

2.  “Reza para illuminar tu calle.”   Make time for prayer to illuminate your path.

Prayer, meditation, intention.  Whatever you want to claim as your time in stillness – just do it.   My grandmother told me to pray for myself.  Pray for patience.  Pray for one another.  Holding good intentions will illuminate your own path.

3.  “Quedate firme sobre tus ninos.”  Be there and be strong for your children.

She told me you think your children will need you most when they are babies. That is not true.  They will need you more later.  Don’t miss the years when they need you most.  Or they will need you longer.

4.  “Los hombres que te ofrecen dinero y casas pero no su tiempo o respeto se pueden chingar.”  The men that offer you money and houses, but not their time and respect are the men you tell to go f@#! themselves.

My grandmother became a widow at 52 with six surviving children. She said some men came along that tried to court her, offer her things and marry her, but none spoke to her strong and loving spirit.  She told them to hit the road.  She was a woman fueled by family and faith.  She figured it out and made it work and managed to have all those children go to college. Wella don’t play.

5.  “Cuida tu mariposa.”  Take care of your butterfly.

That is grandma code for take care of your essence.  And your va-jay-jay,.  Leaving for a party once, she wouldn’t let me leave the house in a miniskirt. Not until I threw on some control top pantyhose to lock it down.  Yes, people, grandma is 91 and she might be old-fashioned in some things, ahead of her time in others, but wth experience comes wisdom and perspective.  She knows things. Best to pay attention when she’s got something to say.

Happy Birthday to my Wella, our matriarch.  She shines on us with attitude and spirit for days.

Processed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV

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  • Reply
    Rosa Campos Lucio
    August 1, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    Oh my! Thank you for sharing this. My Tía Maria will always be in my heart. As an adult I didn’t visit her much. However, it’s didn’t matter how much time went but each time we met, the first words out of her mouth were, yo rezo por todos hija. That phrase must so much to me, especially after both my parents were gone. I will always admire her. She was/is an inspiration, a great role model, strong woman, God fearing, don’t mess with me kind of fantastic person. Always in my heart.

    • Reply
      Maria Carter
      August 5, 2019 at 9:28 pm

      Thank you for sharing that memory. Love her too!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    Your Wella reminds me of mine! I love this advice you are passing on. She was Mary’s mom I presume because I can see her in your Wella.

    • Reply
      Maria Carter
      August 5, 2019 at 9:27 pm

      Yes – she was my mom’s mother. Thank you Brigitte. She was an amazing woman.

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