Ohh how I love stock
....the stock that I come from that is. I mean I love stocks too. In fact, $IQV was my best trade of the day. But we're not talking trading today.
My maternal grandmother--her epitaph should read, "A giver 1000x over." I watched my grandmother give her life 9x. With each of her children and again with each of her grandchildren. I don't have many memories of my younger days. I mostly remember high-level general events like having the nicest meanest first grade teacher, Mrs. Ezell. Mrs. Ezell was a walking oxymoron for real (and proudly one of those once-in-a-lifetime people cause I never met another Ezell in my life--I really liked that woman). Anyway, a vivid memory I can recall was, at almost 8 years old, watching my grandmother soothe my baby cousin by placing her fingers in her mouth while coddling her. My baby cousin had to be weeks or a month old. I don't recall. I only recall overhearing my great grandmother speak of how the baby was born addicted to drugs. My grandmother, night after night, would put her fingers in the baby's mouth to soothe her and rock her in her arms for what seemed like hours. HOURS! Night after night. She never complained. She cut off her finger to save her hand---she gave up sleep, her relationships, never showed anger or frustration---she showed up each day ready to make sure her granddaughter was good. And she was so determined and humble. I remember that happening vividly. In those moments, she showed me that love and giving of yourself is the most sincere form of care and concern. She GIVES it all.
My paternal grandmother-- I don't know my paternal grandmother as well as my maternal grandmother. I was delighted when I got the opportunity to learn more about her. There was a period in my teenage years where I spent more time with my paternal grandmother and lived with her for a short period. We went to her church Sunday after Sunday and I watched her give every single dime to her church, even her bus fare. She would walk home. I watched her faithfully find a quiet spot to pray for HOURS. She was a woman who earnestly believed that blessings on blessings on blessings arise when you give from the heart. So she gave...to the church, to her kids, to her family...over and over and over again. And no matter what anyone said or how they criticized her giving, she would show up and give more. If I see her today, she would most likely empty her pockets and try to give me her last. She derives much joy, purpose and blessings from giving even when she has every reason to be ungrateful. I visited her in the hospital about four years ago. I asked her to tell me her story. My aunts and uncles always told me about the horrific domestic abuse she experienced from her husband and all the trauma she experienced within her family. I wanted her to tell me. She did and in those moments, I understood why she practiced so much gratitude. Life threw her every reason to be done...angry...broken...ugly....mean......she made a different choice. She is what others would judge as overly generous. She GIVES it all.
I come from two extremely determined, capable, strong, God-fearing, family-loving GIVERS.
They GIVE. And GIVE some more. And GIVE even more. And they never get tired of it.
I'm not tired.
I GIVE and get replenished. It's the one constant in my life even when I'm all over the place and indecisive.
My giving might look like me reaching out to an ex who may have hurt me i n the past, but is still my family. He's forgiven. He's in my village/community. And his family is my family. I want to make sure he's ok. And no matter what, at least 4x a year he can expect me to reach out and make sure he's above water and eating right.
My giving might look like paying for my entire family vacation to include a shitload of people.
My giving might look like every time you come to my home you must take something from the coupon room.
My giving might look like showing up at the crack of dawn to hand deliver flowers to my stepdaughter after being out of town and traveling all day.
My giving might loo like driving an hour (or ten) to 'put my eyes on you'.
My giving might look like letting you hold something.
My giving might look like overtipping.
My giving might look like a bad decision *shrugs*. It happens to the best of us.
My giving might look like giving my mother-in-law a pedicure because her feet are atrocious, she's diabetic and very scared to go to the salon. And so I do her hair too while I'm at it.
My giving might look like making you lunch or dinner.
My giving might look like listening intensively.
You may not understand my giving. You may even try to change it.
Stop. It won't work. This was one of the best gifts I inherited. It makes me who I am. I don't fight it anymore or question it. You may think I'm not guarded enough and may even think I'm giving to the wrong folk......who cares.
Every time I see my mother, she says the same thing to me. "God is going to bless you so much for taking care of your brother." He has! I have been so VERY blessed. I am so happy to be in a position to give anything. I'm very happy to do so.
Side-note: The hardest thing for me to give is my time. Make a mental note cause if you get that, consider yourself blessed.
Now, let me be great, Lemme 'lone. Let me give in peace.
"When you give from your heart, you will NEVER go without and God will always bless you."
~Geraldine Butler and Joyce Geraldine Owens