We all handle life differently. We respond to the situations that life throws at us in unique ways based on our personality, mood and upbringing. We are as unique as our fingerprint and DNA, yet still connected to and sometimes similar to the family and friends we associate with.
My grandma was a wild, outlandish woman. Definitely not your typical grandmotherly type. We never knew what she was going to say or do, but we did know that whatever it was, it would be unique. Grandma was as individual and independent as she could be. She was the type of women that all the wild women describe, you know, those succulent women who run with wolves.
They say you never know what will come out of the mouths of babes. Well, I’m here to tell you that you never knew what would come of my grandmother’s mouth. She had a tendency to curse a lot, and never followed any of the rules, whatever they may be. I don’t know if she even realized that rules pertained to her! She did what she wanted, the way she wanted to do it and, frankly, didn’t care what other people thought.
“They say you never know what will come out of the mouths of babes. Well, I’m here to tell you that you never knew what would come of my grandmother’s mouth.”
Grandma, who seemed indestructible, was diagnosed with cancer of the breast, liver, and bones. It was everywhere. The doctors told her to take it easy and not to work. But those rules weren’t for my grandma. She lived on a farm, and she never stopped; if anything, she worked even harder than before. She had a mastectomy, but a lot of people didn’t know it because she had abreast prosthesis (one of those fake silicone breasts that you insert into the cup of your bra).
With all the cancer in her body, she was told she had seven months to live. But she defied the odds, did her own thing, and lived an amazing seven years beyond that.
“I believe these memories of my grandma are there to strengthen me and give me the courage to be my unique self, responding to situations or people in my own way without always stopping to think what other people are going to say.”
Grandma was a caring woman, but she had an attitude. She babysat a small boy for a while, and after the child was abandoned, Grandma adopted him. As he grew up, he became a defiant kid, some people might call him a smartass. Well, one day he was having a party with his friends, and I’ll never forget what happened.
Her adopted son, my uncle, made a smart-aleck comment of a sexual nature toward grandma in an effort to be ‘cool’ in front of the guys. That didn’t sit too well with her, and her response shocked everybody there.
I was sitting at the kitchen table at a perfect angle to see what would happen next. Grandma was standing at the counter in a house dress and her hands were kneading dough. After my uncles remark, a flash of anger filled her face; evidenced by a sharply raised brow and tightened lip. She kept kneading and my uncle made his way toward the front door. Grandma reached into her housedress and into her bra, pulled out her prosthesis, and slung that sucker across the room at him! That thing flew! She threw it with velocity, and it hit him square in the head. I was shocked, my uncle was shocked, and you can imagine how shocked all of his buddies were. They didn’t know she had breast cancer or a prosthesis!
Her response was so spontaneous and ridiculous, that it was funny. Whoever said to expect the unexpected must have known my grandma! She never let anyone tell her how to be or what to do. She did whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted, with no apologies!
“She never let anyone tell her how to be or what to do. She did whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted, with no apologies!”
Grandma was a non-conformist. She represents that particular strength that comes from not caring what other people think or say, but from being your true self. I’m not saying we should all throw boobs across the room, but sometimes, when life throws us a curve, we need to borrow some of the power or strength of people we admire. Most of my early life, I lived as someone who was more comfortable pleasing people around me than causing a rift. I believe these memories of my grandma are there to strengthen me and give me the courage to be my unique self, responding to situations or people in my own way without always stopping to think what other people are going to say. Shocking other people once in a while isn’t a terrible thing. Is there someone in your life, past or present who represents strength? Someone, that when you think of them you feel inspiration fill your body in the form of forming a backbone? Take a moment to remember this person. In your opinion, what makes them strong? What about you? Now take a moment to remember a time that you were really strong? What about you, is strong? It may be a subtle strength, something you have been doing or a way you have been behaving for so long that you forgot you were strong. Repeat this out loud or write it on paper. I am strong because… and fill in the blank. As women, we are gifted with a gentle strength and it is always there when we need it. Sometimes it comes in the form of calling upon memories of someone who inspires you and sometimes you just respond to what life is giving in a way that inspires you and those around you. Strength is beautiful. Strength is feminine.
Maybe we should all take a lesson from the grandmas of the world, and, when life gets in our face or throws us a curve, throw a boob!