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Deep down, most people have dreams - they may be forgotten, unspoken, or unrealized - but they are there. I want to help you remember and believe in them again...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Life's Little Things...

Today it's raining - down pouring really - in Austin.  It's one of those beautiful, cleansing summer rains that smells earthy, clean, and fresh.  It melts the heat and delivers a melody of calm, relaxing torrents.

I love a summer thunderstorm.

They remind me of my grandmother... As a child and throughout my life, it's no secret that I adored my grandmother.  I've often been asked what made her so special or what was it about her that I loved so much?  Well, it was a thousand little things.  But mostly it was her seemingly unending love for me.  A love that shone through in everything she did when I was near her.  How her face would light up when I walked in... the fact that she'd hug me so tightly and kiss me as if she'd not seen me in years even if it was only a few hours ago... it was her laugh and that she found humor in most things.  It was that she made time for me and when I was with her, I was the center of her world... that she SAW me.

As a child, it's a true wonder to receive honest love.  Love that says "you'll never disappoint me" "I think you hung the moon!" with genuine affection.

As an adult, the continual, unwavering gift of that type of love is a miracle.  It grounds and centers your very soul.

But what's so great about thunderstorms?
When I was a kid and even a teen, I'd often spend the night at Gram and Pap's... she and I would stay up late after Pap had dozed off in his chair.  Many a summer night, we'd go out and sit on their porch.  It was a wonderful porch with a real roof over head but also the old school aluminum awnings that extended the reach of the porch... the type of awning that echoed rain.  Gram and I would sit out there on that porch for hours talking, laughing, and usually eating some sort of fresh fruit.  She seemed to have an endless supply of grapes or oranges, plums, nectarines, cherries... and the occasional dollop of vanilla ice cream.  We'd sit and snack until the wee hours of the morning - especially in the summer time.  But most of all, one of our FAVORITE times to be outside was during a storm.  We'd sit out there on that porch and cackle like kids with each thunderclap as we'd jump out of our skin.  It was late one summer night - storming.  I kept sticking my arm out to feel the rain fall.  Gram just laughed at me... then she snuck up behind me and grabbed my shoulders as if to push me out in the rain.  I jumped sky high and she laughed hysterically.  I scowled back swearing I wasn't afraid which made her laugh all the more.  Then I challenged her back saying I was gonna go stand out in that storm!  She mischievously met my glare and dared me to do it.  "I WILL!" I said, sticking my arm out again.  "Go ahead!" she countered.  So I did. (of course, right, for those of you who know me - lol ;)  I marched down two whole steps out from under the awnings and stood facing the neighbors house and the hills in the back in the downpour.  Gram just laughed all the more!  Then a HUGE clap of thunder sent me flying right into her lap soaking wet.  She just kept laughing and said "that thunder's not gonna get you!  Come on!"  And just like that she grabbed my hand and we stood back out there in the rain - together.  It was perfect.
Suffice it to say, that's about all I remember - except that we both got cold and then ran down to the basement to jump in the shower just to get warm.  Post shower we had some tea and eventually went to bed.

Gram never said anything dramatic like "always dance in the rain" or "face your fears" or any number of other pearls of verbal wisdom.  She just LIVED... and often laughed about whatever she was doing. That's one of the many things that made her so unique and so special.

I can't ever remember not loving summer storms.  No matter where in the world I was or what I was doing, the sound of thunder and good torrential rain always makes me pause.  And every now and then I can't help myself - I go stand, kick a puddle, or do a little dance in the rain.  Just because...

My dream for today is for every person to take just a moment and really think about the people you LOVE.  Do you love with conditions? or do you just LOVE, letting your heart be FULL for that other soul? whether it's your children, grandchildren, spouse/partner, or friend?

Challenge yourself to SEE them and allow that overwhelming, overflowing depth of love to come pouring out - express it!  On your face, in your eyes, with your smile, and hug! SHOW them!  You've NO idea of the impact it will have... and for anyone who can, I highly encourage - just once - for you to stand in the rain.

[And for all you parents and grandparents, teach the children in your life to STAND in the RAIN... but don't just dare them to do it.  Stand out there with them!  You'll both never forget it, I promise you.]

At the end of our days, whenever that may be, it will be Life's Little Things that truly matter most.

Thanks Gram... for teaching me still.



Anonymous said...

I love this story. Lucky you, lucky me. I had a grandmother like that too! Let's pass that unconditional love along: the world needs more of it! Thanks for the thunder in the storm.

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Angela said...

Thanks so much Bette! I couldn't agree more... :) I appreciate the note.

Unknown said...

What a lovely post, your Gram sounded a wonderful woman, must be wonderful to feel that seen and that heard and she passed her zest for life onto you through her expressing life. I love summer storms too, the photos made me smile.

Angela said...

:) I appreciate that Kelly! Thanks so much for reading and yes, she was the best! Still is... even though she's gone.

Aluminum Awnings Orlando said...

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