Life’s lessons

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I visited my grandmother for a whole day when I was 5 years old, only me and my granny (the Old Lady, as she was referred to by her children) for ONE WHOLE DAY!  Back in the day, it was still safe for children to roam the streets alone, so she gave me 50c to buy myself some sweeties from the little cafe across the street.  WOW!  Never before was I aloud to leave the house alone, and I even got to do my own shopping!  This was my first ever taste of independence, whether or not it was intention, I was smart enough to take it as a life lesson.

After returning home, she sat me down in front of the piano, with sheet music of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and Long Long Ago.  This was another first, learning to play a musical instrument, WOW!  I remember sitting and learning and playing, my grandmother explaining the notes to me, and teaching me what the funny images on the sheet music meant.  Hours and hours and hours we sat there, learning, playing, making music!  I was on top of the world!  By the end of the day, I could play two songs from sheet music.  My life long love for creating music started that day, but the true life lesson I learned was perseverance.  I didn’t give up on those to songs before were played!

My grandmother was in the Catholic Church, and up to the age of 85 years, she would walk 10 blocks to church every single day.  She lived in crime-stricken Johannesburg, and an Old Lady was a easy target for any thief, and when she was confronted by such a opportunistic thief, she did not even put up a fight, and very politely handed her handbag to him with a smile saying:  ‘You probably need it more than me’.  Puzzled, the thief took off her handbag only to return a couple of minutes later, everything in her handbag still in tact.  The content of her handbag was few, but precious.  It contained her little purse with only a few cents, and her Bible.  Her faith saved had saved her, and her handbag!  Up to today, I still strive to have that much faith in God to care of me when I know I am powerless to take of myself.

My grandmother was very poor, she has been poor her whole life!  Oh the stories I have been told of her struggles will bring you to tears.  Once during another visit to my grandmother  when I was 12 years old, I forgot to pack a jersey, and boy was it cold that day!  My grandmother gave me her jacket (one of only two that she owned).  Little did I know it would be last time I would ever see her, but the kindness she displayed to me on that day is a precious memory I will hold on to for the rest of my life.  What I have learned through her selfless act was that you should give ’till it hurts.  Never pass up the opportunity to help a person in need, the smallest sacrifice on your part can be life changing to someone else!

This is my grandmother, my father and my uncle.  This was the last picture even taken of her. I will always remember her as a strong independent loving woman of God

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