This week is all about “generations”. I find it only fitting as we are preparing to celebrate a very special lady we call “Granny” with a surprise birthday party this weekend – She will 104. However, I bet the surprise will really be on us. Knowing her she probably already expecting a party as we are usually up to something this time of year (Good Grief she is 104). And one amazing woman! Yes that makes five “generations” will be together. She is actually my husband’s grandmother…isn’t that exciting?
Gladys “Granny” Burns was born in October 9, 1909 in Utica, Mississippi. Her family moved to Paris, Texas where she grew up, met and fell in love with Boyd Burns. They married on July 26, 1930. They had 6 children Gene Burns, Wanda Burns Booth (my mother-in-law), Lou Burns Patton who passed away with cancer in 1979, Ray Burns, Patsy Burns Leins and Carolyn Burns who also passed away 1995. I truly wonder how she survived losing two of her children at such an early age. I would say Granny’s life was more guts than glamor. Her family was her number one priority, she worked hard every day, loved growin a garden, picked many a cotton and made the best of every situation. After moving off the farm and into town she worked at the local hospital for a short while and then Campbell Soup opened up a plant where she put in her application at age 55 and was given a job until her retirement at 65. She should be proud of the accomplishments and values she has instilled in each “generation” and the lives she has touched and still touching. She is true royalty at the Nursing Home…A Celebrity in the community!
Granny has seen and been through allot in the 104 years on this earth and the amazing thing she can still share each and every one of those experiences with you. Granny is the only person I know that has had her gall bladder removed twice. In the 1970’s she had surgery apparently their technology was not as precise and the little sucker grew back because in her 90’s she complained of having gall bladder symptoms but the medical community in the small town she lived in were a bit baffled so they took her by ambulance to Dallas and every turn they made while riding in the back, she described where she thought they might be like Honey Grove, to Bonham, to McKinney and by golly she was right. The specialist took a look and low and behold she had 28 gall stones no wonder she was in so much pain. Yes, the good Jewish doctor who was so knowledgeable removed her gallbladder once again.
I have to share the first visit to her home after Greg and I got married I was looking at all the photographs on the wall but right in the center she had a ceramic plaque of an apple tree. Each apple had a family member’s name on it…deep down I was wondering if I would get to add an apple with my name on it until I looked down at the base of the tree where I saw a few names yes they were ex-spouses who had fallen off the tree. I quickly decided I didn’t need to have an apple. (LOL) Granny also didn’t have central air or heat. Not that she couldn’t afford it she just didn’t think she needed it. Now, this Colorado girl livin in Texas did not necessarily agree so I made it a point we mainly went to visit in the Spring and Fall otherwise I thought we might die of heat or freeze from the cold. We all loved “takin time out” with a visit to Granny’s home where kids could be kids, playing ball in the backyard, exploring, sharing and learning. She loves to read. We also were served down home cooking from her cast iron cookware in which she used up until the day we moved her to the nursing home at a 100, now that stuff is heavy but she managed. There were always lots of laughs and practical jokes. Yes a bit of drama too but I will leave that for another time.
As we reflect on her age, I realize how important each “generation” is to the other. We learn, we grow, we change, we improve, we make mistakes, we rebel, we commit, we leave, we love, we support, and we share! All in all we make a mark on our family heritage and pass our favorite and maybe not so favorite things down to the next “generation”.
I love the passages in the Bible where God promises blessings to each “Generation”. Starting out with Adam then there were 20 more “generations” until Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Juda, Pharez, Esrom, Aram, Ammindadab, Naason, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, David, Solomon then 27 more until our ultimate gift and that was the birth of Jesus our precious Lord and Savior. Psalm 102: 12 states “But you, O Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all “generations”.” Our beliefs can be passed down from one “generation” to another but we all have a choice whether we accept those teachings and ask him to be a part of our lives. I hope dear friend you have takin that step and if not what are you waiting for? “Take a time out” and do some soul searching…he is waiting and always there for you. All you have to do is ask….
As I have gotten older I also realize there are “generational” differences especially in the workforce. I have a dear friend, Sherri Elliott-Yeary, who actually wrote a great book called “Ties to Tattoos” turning “generational” differences into a competitive advantage. It really helped to explain how each “generation” works differently. The American workforce is comprised of four distinct “generations”: Traditionalists, Boomers, Xers and Millennials. We all have different morals, values, work ethics and most importantly ways of communication and all four are rarely on the same page. Once you understand their “generational” make-up then you can play on the strengths come together to make one awesome team. If you are a business leader or work with various age groups, I highly recommend this easy read.
I am now sipping on my warm savoring cup of cinnamon tea in my favorite white mug, lovin the smell and scrumptious taste while “takin time out” from a very busy, hectic and kind of overwhelming week. I am so thankful for this opportunity to write down what’s on my heart, buried in my soul and feeling so blessed of my rich heritage. I feel the lineage and past “generations” have helped mold me into the person I am today. Instilled are such gifts and talents as being loyal, hardworking, with morals & values, faith, hope, love, a servant’s heart, dedication, perseverance, kindness, compassion, love and maybe a bit rebellious at times. Through my coaching she taught me I am a true pioneer, there is always more than one way to get to the end result. I like to try new things…have a bit of adventure…be creative…but most of all makin memories and leaving a legacy for the next “generation”. What about you, how do you feel about your “generation” and what impact are you making? As you are “takin time out” this week, decide how you want to impact this world. TOGETHER let’s make a difference….blessings to you until next time!