This painting may have no significance to you but it has so much meaning to me. It hangs on my wall and it is a reminder of my grandmother who lived in this house and has since passed on. In fact, this house no longer exists. It really is just a painting now and a memory. It is funny how things that have meaning and significance really have nothing to do with concrete items. Sometimes it takes death or a lifetime to figure this out but as they say a picture (or painting) is worth a thousand words.
I recently read a book that discussed the importance of older generations fostering relationships with younger generations. I immediately thought about my relationship with my grandmother. I looked at this house and thought about all the little details and why she was so special in my life. It was a modest house and if a home could have the attribute of humility then this little white house had plenty of it. My grandmother raised eleven children (yes, 11) in this humble home. She always hung her clothes out to dry on the clothes line. She quite often would be seen sweeping the rail-less porch or tending to her pretty pansies. This house never had many modern conveniences and yet, this home had so much meaning in my life. This was a place of family and love.
My grandmother lived far away from me so visits with her were not often but growing up I looked forward to them. Later on in my life, I had the opportunity to bring my own children to visit my Grammie. I have a picture of four generations together in this humble home. My grandmother raised her children and then reached out to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren with love. It might have been in simple ways like her home cooked meals, her crocheted items or even her little handwritten cards. However, it is the simple things that show love and devotion. She truly cherished her family.
Perhaps, you too have a symbol of family you can recall in your life. This painting is a wonderful reflection of love for me but it doesn’t tell the whole story. I know there were both sad and happy occasions that were tied to this home. However, family is about the good, the bad and even the ugly at times. Sometimes, I think we are losing sight of the importance of family. Our busy schedules and our success driven lives are clouding our perspective. Divorce and estranged family relationships can cause so much emotional damage. Older generations are not mentoring the younger ones and children are rarely taught to respect their elders. It is as if there is this growing disconnect between generations instead of the bonding that creates a family.
I didn’t have the opportunity to spend great amounts of time with my grandmother. However, she invested in me by spending the time she did have and letting me know she cared and loved me. During this Christmas season I am reminded of what is really important in life. If you are blessed, like me, to have a family – cherish them. Let your children spend time with their grandparents. Never forget that you are never too old to keep on loving and nurturing your children in whatever stage of life they are in.
God intended for us to be families and for generations to mentor each other. Houses, things and careers come and go but investing in the lives of our children and even our children’s children is the most significant thing you can do in your life. I will always cherish my grandmother and how much she instilled a sense of family in her children. Now I realize it is up to me to do the same in my own. There is a cliché that says, “Home is where the heart is.” I am not one to use clichés but this painting has it written all over it.