86. The Older Shall Teach The Younger*

Wine Glass Quilt Block for the Bible Sampler Quilt Project

I haven’t posted in awhile because the words I drafted in my head just didn’t feel right. Titus 2 challenges older women to encourage the younger ones to love their husbands, love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, and so on. Since I’m an “older” now, I set my mind upon life lessons I wish I had known when I was a “younger”. Those potential blogposts were my personal thoughts, born of personal experience. I’m afraid those would have bored you nearly to death, navel-gazer sessions as they were. Or they would’ve sounded trite, tropes as they were.

I finally struck upon the content that felt comfortable this early misty morning. Instead of me espousing my own didactic dribble, I’ll share with you the advice my grandma gave me back when I was the younger.

Are you ready? Here it is:

Grandma: “Make sure you carry pins in your purse so you can fix your hem in a pinch.“

These words from the woman who raised thirteen children during the darkest years of the Depression. It would’ve been fifteen, but she lost two to miscarriage. Also lost one to cancer at thirteen years of age. Watched sons and son-in-laws go off to fight abroad in World War II. She was a walking talking tome of story and profound experience.

And that’s all she gave me.

Not true. She advised without words. During my college years, I spent Tuesday and Thursday mornings with her. She was living with my widowed uncle then, who worked long hours. I would clean house, help with personal needs, then we’d play Scrabble or Rummy while we ate lunch. Then I’d scoot off to my afternoon and evening classes.

If I could’ve heard any of her stories, any sage words of wisdom, it would’ve happened on those mornings. Instead we went about the business of the day. She shared current news of family. As extended as it was, there was always news. And there was laughter. She loved poems, rewriting her favorites to keep them memorized. She had that beautiful Palmer Method handwriting. And she relished beating me at those games, which happened more often than not.

She showed me her good advice: Keep it simple. Live in the moment. Handle the day that is set before you. It is enough. Laugh.

Unless they ask, the younger ones don’t want to hear what happened in your ancient history that has no relevance to them right now. They will figure it out for themselves.

Sorry, Titus 2, I think I’ve let you down here. But if this makes it any better; I’ll not be caught with a raveled hem when I’m out and about. Thanks Grandma.

*(The title of today’s post is a nod to my husband’s Aunt Mary. She would quote this aloud before advising me on, well, anything and everything when I was a young mother myself. It’s her paraphrased version of Titus 2, and she took it seriously. Even though I didn’t ask her to take it on; I’d say she did her job thoroughly over the years.)

2 thoughts on “86. The Older Shall Teach The Younger*

  1. That reminds me of when my 3rd child was born. I was newly divorced from my abusive ex and different ladies from church visited. Somehow they always arrived as I put all 3 down for a nap and was about to join them. Parenting solo 3 children a newborn, a 13 month old, and a 27 month old wasn’t easy. Having someone who lived in a show home tell me how her daughter managed to keep her home immaculate with her newborn and children older than mine felt very judgemental.I’d politely say now wasn’t convenient and shut the door. However another person from church who I’d helped frequently before I had children would come when I said I was going for a nap said she’d do the washing up for me. When I came down after my nap I’d find the place tidied, my laundry gone, and the food shed bought put away ready for me to have later. That was a lesson I took to my heart and have tried to emulate


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