She always reminded us to look to God in hard times and give thanks in all times. I knew these things all along, but sometimes I forgot in my youthful foolishness. Grandmother Alice was always there to remind me of these things so that I did not get so far off track that I could not get back on again.
Grandmother Alice was always gentle in her ways, but when the situation called for a firm hand, she always did it with a pound of love. She never said a harsh word, even when you had done something bad. She would not spare the scoldings when you really needed it. She made you think about the consequences of your actions. Her punishments were always fair and just. You always went away with a lesson learned. She taught me to think about others before myself, as selfishness was a foreign idea to Grandmother Alice.
It has been said that we change the world by first looking inside ourselves and creating something beautiful. When we find beauty in ourselves, then we can spread that beauty to others, who in turn can spread it to a greater number yet. Grandmother Alice never built a skyscraper, wrote a million-dollar best-seller novel, or flew to the moon. She never traveled the world, and did not have the wealth of Donald Trump, but she accomplished something that none of these people ever did. She spread her love and wisdom to those around her. In this way Grandmother Alice changed the world, only she did it one life at a time, one moment at a time.
Our life on this earth is very short and we do not last forever, but the works that we do last for many generations after we are gone. Some create great masterpieces, or have many fine possessions in their lives. It is true that these things will probably outlive them, but even the sun will burn out in time. Everything on this earth has a certain life span, everything is finite. It is not the things that we have in this life, or the things we make that will make the world better. It is when we touch others and make their lives better, that we truly change the world.
Grandmother Alice's life was not filled with many fine things, but she left us all with something more valuable than any gold. She left us with our self-respect and a respect for others. That is something no one can ever take away.
Grandmother Alice died in November of 1995 and left a longing in my heart and the hearts of many others. She is gone and sometimes I can still hear her words or feel her loving harms around me when times are tough.
The lessons that she taught will live on forever. I hope that in my life I can pass them on to someone else and that they too can have the wisdom…