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Friday, March 17, 2017

Day Seventeen of Thirty-One: Not My Attitude

Every year, on this day, I walk myself through the day my grandmother died. I remember the sounds, the people, the tears, the disbelief. I remember the faces, the caregivers, the chapel, the gift shop.

When my grandmother died we had a funeral. Sitting in the room, I listened to the pastor as he described my grandmother. His exact words, "she was made of piss and vinegar." I remember thinking, as a young child, can he say that? Knowing all too well, he was exactly right and how else could you describe a woman like her? She was a tough as nails sharp talker who knew how to love. We called her Maw Maw.

Anytime anyone in the family gets riled or revved up we say they are having a "Maw Maw moment," or "that's the Maw Maw in you." We all seem to have a bit of that running through our veins.

As I walked through today I began to realize that I've got that piss and vinegar too. I'm pretty grateful for it. We expect there will be tough days but no one said we need to dwell in them. That's just not my attitude and I refuse to swim in sorrow for too long. I guess I'm just awfully thankful that I was and continue to be surrounded by those who look for the good. Those who search for the light. Those who even when faced with challenges act aggressively and with excitement. I felt a force field of love today from my parents, my principal, my friends, students, and even those who were struggling to maintain a smile because they accepted mine.


  1. That must have been a mighty strange thing to hear the minister say about your grandmother! I like that you have come around to seeing the strength and positive of her attitude - and that you believe you have it, too. This is a great line: "We expect there will be tough days but no one said we need to dwell in them." So true!

  2. I love hearing how people are like their ancestors, and it's fun to know how families keep those ancestors alive. My grandma had the same "gift" but she also is remembered for her amazing hugs.

  3. "That's the Maw Maw in you" -- what a great way to remember this important person in your family and live the "piss and vinegar" spirit, too!

  4. Piss and vinegar aren't bad ingredients, and it sounds like having some Maw Maw in you is a really good thing. You cut through what really matters in such simple ways in this short post, Betsy. It's a beautiful tribute to your grandmother.

  5. I love it! And yes, you are also made with piss and vinegar. I'm pretty sure that's what I love most about you, my friend. Your Maw Maw would be proud!

  6. I love the description "piss and vinegar". That was a saying my grandparents always used. It's always good to have a little piss and vinegar other wise we would just be run over.

  7. I thought of my grandmother!
    She sounds wonderful! You do too!