My lesson on living well in this episode is the importance of family.
My strong belief in family began during my childhood in a small country town, Church Point, Louisiana. I was blessed because I was born into a beautiful and nourishing family. It started with my maternal grandparents, not my immediate family.
My mother’s mother was a strong; take charge woman who was a fabulous cook, and seamstress. She was a woman who loved God and attended Mass everyday. She always had a brood of grandchildren playing around the house every single day. We would walk home from school and stop at grandmother’s house, as we would enter her house you could smell the aroma of fresh baked sweet dough pies and a number of sweet delights she had laid out on the kitchen table. Sometimes we would sit on the floor and watch her cut fabric and patterns to make something wonderful. She would often let us help and she would teach us techniques about sewing like always pressing seams, clipping corners and curves, etc.
Weekends were especially fun with our grandparents, parents and all the cousins gathered on the lawn. Everyone would spending time catching up with the gossip of the week and we played under the big weeping willow tree. We took turns on the crank of the ice cream makers waiting for more than one flavor of homemade ice cream to be ready.
My mother’s father was warm, funny, and larger than life and he was a God loving man. He demanded that any grandchild spending the night was down on their knees with the family as he recited the rosary before bedtime. The next morning he took us with him to his farm to milk the cows and gave us a squirt of milk and a cool drink of water from his hand pump. He loved his grandchildren and spent time trying to teach each of us French words and telling us stories sitting on his lap around the kitchen table. It seems like the kitchen at their home was always our gathering spot and the heart of family’s special moments during the week. However all the family participated on Sundays for a formal family dinner and afterwards gathered in the living room to talk and have family time together.
My parents were wonderful yet the death of my sister when I was six years old left them damaged. My father was a Banker whom everyone loved and a pillar in the community. My mother was a very talented teacher whose students returned in later years to say she gave them the greatest foundation to become successful in life. There was much sadness however in our home and lots of drinking to wash away their pain. My happy spot were times spent with grandmother Ernestine and granddaddy Pierre and all my cousins, aunts and uncles. Unknowingly, I learned many life lessons from my parents and surrounded by my extended family that gathered weekly to be together. This made me a very strong, self-aware person. I have always felt comfortable in my own skin. I had a clear understanding of my abilities and situation. With that being said, I have never felt life owed me anything or jealous of others success. So I can say I have lived an uncomplicated and satisfied life. This is a result of growing up with a supportive family who gave me a loving, encouraging, and positive upbringing.
Life is good and I’m living well. Please share your life story with me that I might share with other readers.
My grandfather Pierre with me, my sister and some of our cousins.
My grandmother Ernestine with my sister and me.
My mother and father and my sister and myself.
Saturdays in my grandparents yard.