I need to first start off my saying that I find it hard to believe I have 10 days to go…has time flown by that fast? Whew…
I must confess…today’s Unexpected Health insight did not come about from something that happened today. In fact, I started writing yesterday’s post about this topic but became consumed with the need to write about the glorious Delete button. So today, as an ellipses symbol from yesterday’s thoughts and revelations, I discovered the Unexpected Health in…berry vines.
Your first question might be, “Where the heck did you run into berry vines in the East Bay?” I didn’t. In fact, I haven’t come into combat (and I do mean combat!) with berry bushes since the last time I was in Oregon…and the last time I was in Oregon was to bury my grandma. But sometimes, the most beautiful–the most healthFUL–experiences we have are not free of hurt. The sting of sadness can prick our hearts just like a berry vine; but oftentimes, even in the pain, there is health–there is ‘fruit’–to be witness to…and finding the health in hurt is healthy.
Yesterday was my grandma Lucille’s birthday. She would have been 104 years old. She died at the young-at-heart age of 100 and although her body had decided it was time to rest for eternity, she was as strong-hearted on her 100th birthday as I remembered her my entire life. Memories of my grandma blew threw me often yesterday. I don’t know if it was the combination of her birthday falling on the Summer Solstice or whether it was just a day of dedication to her life here on Earth, but I found myself reminiscing about my time with her.
She made the best homemade berry pies and cobblers! And what made her pies and desserts so delicious (and healthy, I might add) was that the fruit came from the vines that our hands were stained purple and pink from picking. I remember picking berry after berry, trying to fill up a basket full enough to make a pie (it always took me longer because I usually ate half of my pickings). What a joy to see our hard work and berry vine ‘battle scars’ pay off with a warm, crisp pie…fresh out of the oven.
My grandma’s death was sad. She was the type of grandma people write stories about. You know, the one who knitted dolls (and made my dolls and I matching clothes), read stories, and taught real-life lessons about life, love, and fairness. She never missed a birthday, never forgot a special occasion, and never became frustrated while trying to teach my brother and I how to fish. I think the most harsh word she ever said was, “Oh fiddles.” Some might choose another “F” word for that statement, but not my grandma. She was as pure as the Oil of Olay she lathered on her skin.
After both of my grandma’s died (14 hours apart from each other), I used their lives and their deaths as the canvas for which to write my application essay to my Graduate program. It was they who gave me the inspiration to apply to the program that I have since graduated from; and of which has completely changed my life for the better.
Life does not come without the ‘thorns; the berry bushes.’ We are never guaranteed a life free of hurt, of sadness, or disappointment. I am sad that my grandma will never meet her great grandchildren on this Earth. I am disappointed that she did not get to see how her granddaughter turned out. But, I am thankful for the 27 years I had with her. I am thankful for the berry vines. I would never take back the times I shared with her picking berries near the river. I am the woman I am, seeing life through the lens of love, because of her contribution to my life. So the next time you get tangled in your own painFUL ‘berry vine’, remember that the hurt is only part of the story. There is so much health to experience in this lifetime…we just have to focus on the ‘fruits’ of our journey. -Until tomorrow, Jaime
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