Thursday, September 28, 2017

Another Year Gone By

September is coming to an end, and fall is officially upon us. How can that be?

Growing up, I was always wishing time would pass quicker. Whether I was sitting in math class eager for the bell to ring, anxiously watching the clock during karate practice or orchestra because I couldn't wait to go home, or excitedly counting down the days until our next family vacation, it always seemed like time passed at a snail's pace.

Now, I blink and another four months has gone by, and it's time for another haircut, another oil change, another insurance payment. Then I blink again and it's time to plan yet another Christmas celebration and ring in another new year...I'm left wondering how on Earth it has been nearly two decades. (Turns out that all the worry and concern that something terrible would happen the second the 2000s began was for naught.)

My grandfather passed away a short while ago, and while he lived a long life and we are rejoicing that he is with the Lord and no longer in pain, it has been a reminder of how quickly the years go by.

Many of you have asked for an update on the book I am writing about my grandmother's WWII story. The book is nowhere near finished, but I am determined to complete the project. She and my grandfather were a good match, as they both grew up in Europe and went through major trauma as a result of the war. My grandfather was only a child when he lost his home and his parents to an air strike and he was forced to start over on his own.

Despite their many hardships, my grandparents made a new life in a new country, clinging to their faith and choosing to rejoice at the little things, even while dealing with the sorrow that came from losing multiple loved ones to the war and being forcibly separated from others for as long as 30 years.

I'm curious to hear what lessons you have learned by looking back at the lives of those who have gone before you, whether relatives, close friends, or historical figures?

12 comments:

  1. Ellie, that's a good question and as I sit here pondering your question several people come to mind.
    There is one person though who had a big influence on my family. His name was Richard Mummau but he was affectionately known to everyone as Papa Richard. He and his wife were never able to have children so many of us "adopted" them so to speak.
    He was well known and loved amongst the Conservative Mennonite community.
    He always encouraged us in our Christian walk. He taught us what being a true follower of Christ is like and to always stay grounded in the Word. Our family misses him as he passed into glory a few years ago.

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    1. Thanks for sharing that, Regina. I love how they took the difficulty of being unable to have children and used it for good by investing in their community.

      Ellie

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  2. Shela G9/28/2017

    Thinking back over life lessons learned. I would have to say one the biggest came from my mom. When I was 14 she took her own life. This event showed me at a young age how quickly our lives can change. I learned not to take the pepole in my life for granted. It became very important to me to show the people I love just how valuable they are to me and how much I treasure them. With both actions and words.

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    1. Shela, I'm so sorry to hear that. How difficult that must have been for you as a teenager. You are so right, though, about not taking the people in our life for granted.

      Ellie

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  3. Anonymous9/28/2017

    I learned life's lessons from my parents. My father was orphaned at age 7 and a half. He many relatives,but was put in an orphanage with a few of his siblings. He did not have a happy time in the orphanage. He left school because him and afew boys were late from recess. They had to line up to get a hitting. My father decided no one was ever going to hit him again and he jumped out of the bottom floor window and never went back. In those days no one cared about orphans, it was one less mouth to feed. so he did not get in trouble. He started to work at the age of thirteen. My mother lost her father when she was 12. Her mother raised 5 children on her own. My mother had to leave high school because she could not afford a gym suit. My mother started working at 16. I never heard my parents complain about the tough and hard childhood they had. They both went on to have productive lives. I look forward to reading your book.
    Marilyn

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    1. It sounds like both your parents made the best out of very difficult situations. What a legacy that they were able to turn things around and lead productive lives.

      Glad you're looking forward to reading my book. :)

      Ellie

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  4. Anonymous9/29/2017

    Ellie I'm sorry for your loss. My grandfather just passed away this last February and boy was he a solid rock in our family! His own father passed away when he was 12 so he quit school and took over the family farm. He was born, raised, and died on the same farm. You could always count on him in general for most anything. He was never afraid to be totally honest with people. The biggest things I learned from my grandfather was how to speak to and respect other people, and especially to those in authority over me like grandparents,parents,teachers,the president, etc. At the same time he had a good measure of humor and whenever he would laugh his whole upper body shook. Just watching him laugh would make anyone around him laugh! I'm not sure that the game of UNO will ever be the same to me anymore,that was "the game" we played and no one could be as sneaky or as fun to play against,as grandpa could!

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    1. Your grandfather sounds like a neat guy. It seems like the greatest lessons in character come from simply watching those around us and seeing how they respond in different situations. Very sorry for your loss.

      Ellie

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  5. I know exactly what you mean, I always think, "I can't believe it's autumn already, I can't believe there's only a few months left of the year!"

    Sorry to hear about the loss of your grandfather. My grandad died in October 1997, it will be 20 years next month. I was really affected by his death because he was like a father to me. I'm grateful I had him and my grandma in my life. :)

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    1. Thank you, Moon Sparkle. Hope you are having a lovely fall. :)

      Ellie

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  6. I'm so sorry for you loss, Ellie. May your grandfather rest in peace.

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    1. Thank you, Alicia Mae. :)

      Ellie

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