99 years of mothering

My grandmother just turned 99. She has mothered for 72 of those years, my father being her first born. She has lost two children very tragically. She has also lost a husband, my grandfather, who fought in the front lines of the war and spoke frequently of his experiences during his last days.

She has seen more than I can imagine, and experienced more life than anyone else I know. She is strong. She is courageous. She is stubborn. She is her own woman. She is an amazing example that I get to witness first hand.

This weekend we celebrated her birthday with her existing children, and a handful of both grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the room.

It's so hard to understand all she has witnessed. I long for her whole truth and story. How she raised 10 children to be individual thinkers. All of her sons have went on to run their own successful businesses, my father among them. And when I say successful, it may not be in the way most think. They are successful to me because they have created a life that looks beautiful to them. They are all in different industries. I am proud of the lives they have grown. I am proud of their ability to hug me and talk to me. To light up my world a little bit. They were my first inspiration to start my own business and name it 'boehmer' after them. And any hardship they may have had, is redeemed in the powerful lives they are living now.

And grandma's daughters, my aunts, I feel so much like them. I can relate to their hard work ethic, and love for their families. But they aren't one to stop being a person just because they have children, they have always held on to their beautiful individualism and strength, just like their own mother. They are women I have spent my life looking up to, memorizing words of advice from, simply soaking it up like a sponge.

They all came from this one woman, all these beautiful people. And I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for this one extraordinary life.

It just kinda blows my mind. All because of One. And it also reminds me of our God, all because of One. All because He first loved us. And I have life because Edith loved John first, and out of their love came my dad, who in turn loved my mom, and then came my brother and I. And in turn we love our spouses so we could bear these beautiful fruits, our children. All because we took that chance on love.

Life holds heartache, disconnection, and hurt. Our family is not immune to this. But I believe that all will heal if we focus on our love for each other. And how it all began. Out of love we were created, and through love we will grow, heal, and blossom!

A woman of ninety-nine. A lifetime of memories and sacrifice. A lifetime of longing and hurt. A lifetime of joy and celebration. We are all the same in this. None of us are without these similarities.

You know, I always touch, hug, caress my grandmother with her skin so soft. I just love the way it feels to rub my cheek on hers. She loves it too. She may not remember who I am that day, but she glows and thanks me for my physical love. Her love language is the same as mine! I am like her.

She is beauty and longevity, and I am like her. May she always know how much I love her. May I meet her in this next life when she can be in a new perfect body. May we dance together then, maybe we celebrate together in His kingdom.