As a member of the Team GB Elite blogging group, I’ve been given the opportunity to share an exciting discount with my readers to celebrate Growing Bolder Magazine’s 2016 expansion. This post is sponsored by Growing Bolder, but all opinions are my own.
To receive 25% off your 2016 subscription to Growing Bolder Magazine, head to this link and use the code eliteblog at checkout. You’ll also get free shipping for all six issues! Learn more at GrowingBolderMagazine.com.
One of the reasons I love my association with Growing Bolder is our focus on those wonderfully inspiring people who are Surviving and Thriving®. Those who, despite the trials of advancing age or hardship, refuse to observe life from the sidelines.
Well past our fifties, sixties and seventies, some of us go in for things like skydiving, parasailing or scaling Mount Kilimanjaro. We join local rock bands, hike the Appalachian Trail or bike fifty miles a day. We enter marathons, train for the half-iron man, bowl in tournaments and write the books that tickled around in our imaginations perhaps for years. At the core of it all is attitude.
My Aunt Katie never climbed a mountain or did a hard gym workout. Most women didn’t do that in her day. But her attitude toward life was one heck of an inspiration to me. Back in the 1920s, she was in top form winning every Charleston dance contest she entered. In the 1930s, she married the man who became my Uncle Ray, and after fourteen miscarriages, gave birth to the only child they would have, my cousin Raymond.
In the 1940s, she checked into Memorial Hospital (it wasn’t Memorial-Sloan Kettering yet) and underwent the kind of radical mastectomy from which most women did not recover in those days. If you did recover, there was a stigma about it. And in Aunt Katie’s case, certain muscles were cut, which, over the years that followed, would cause her to develop a hump on her back. It was not something people talked about. And no one ever did.
In the 1950s, my Uncle Ray fell off a scaffold at work and wobbled along unsteadily for the rest of his days. Aunt Katie knew how much he had always enjoyed mowing the lawn and that he was okay as long as he could hold on to something. And so, he pushed the mower around the yard, as she walked close behind him in lock step, holding him up by the belt of his trousers, the two of them laughing all the way.
In the 1970s, their three-year-old grandson drowned in a backyard pool.
Aunt Katie lived to be eighty-five…a gentle, smiling woman with a twinkle in her eye, clear translucent skin and a soft breathy laugh that was irresistible. I never saw her frown. Not once. I never heard a negative word out of her mouth, unless it was accompanied by the hilarious stories she would tell about everyday life. Year after year around the Thanksgiving table, she entertained us with her quirky tales. She could make a bran muffin sound funny. I believe this was the genesis of my passion for storytelling…and for developing a positive attitude toward life. Like her, I wanted to choose joyfulness.
No, Aunt Katie never climbed a mountain. What she scaled was higher and harder…the many trials of life that would topple so many others. But not her. She was faithful and trusting, with a merry heart in all things. I will forever be thankful for her example.
Learn about other inspiring examples of people who grow bolder with age and challenge. Subscribe now at GrowingBolderMagazine.com.