Today is my grandmother’s birthday and, as you can tell from the title, she’s 99 years young! My grandmother is an amazing woman, she’s lived on a farm all her life, had 7 children and was married to my grandfather (who has since passed) for more than 60 years. That’s SUCH an amazing life!

The amazing part isn’t where she’s been, places she’s visited, or countries she’s been to but rather what all she has seen in her long life. As I sat watching this wonderful lady thank everyone for coming to her birthday, remembering everyone’s names, I thought about how much our world has grown since 1912. She’s seen the Wright brothers’ machine evolved into the marvels they are today soaring over 36,000 feet. Mr. Ford’s Model T become more of a marvel – where once they traveled at 30 mph tops to the speed machines today and with wonderous variety. Think about the changes YOU’VE seen over the last 20, 30, or 40 years; now imagine what life might be like in another 40 years hence! Honestly, I’m blown away at the thought.

My grandmother lived most of her life, almost literally, without electricity. Can you imagine? She cooked on a woodburning oven, made her kids’ clothes (seven of them, just a reminder), took care of her children and even managed to out pick most everyone when the cotton was ready. She was 45 years old the first time she saw the ocean with her own eyes, has NEVER flown on an airplane, was 41 before she ever left the state of Georgia, and had never given birth in a hospital. Okay, the last one wasn’t something I have ever TRUELY been interested in but sometimes you get stories she wants to tell and considering that in today’s society its hard to imagine that someone wouldn’t opt for the hospital.

I asked her about such things and what she thought about it. “Oh, I don’t know about all that,” she quipped, “being married to my best friend and watching each of my children grow and become parents themselves – that’s what is amazing.” There you have it. I was caught up in the many changes she’s seen over a lifetime of 99 years and NONE of those things seemed to matter to her one bit. Family, that was the highlight of her life, not really surprising though. Family has always been the foundation of country and farm life – let’s face it they needed family to work the farm. But my grandmother’s point wasn’t lost on me; it harkens back to when families were closer, relied on each other, were tighter knit.

My grandmother… 99 years young. She still remembers everyone’s name, has lost 3 of her children over the last 10 years, is the last of her brothers and sisters – and still holding strong to family.

Happy Birthday Grandma! I love you.