Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Grandma's Footstool

My Grandma was an amazing woman who taught me many, many things. She came from a rural town in Utah and married a farm boy named Boyd who would one day become a Colonel in the Air Force.

Boyd and Janice White, one great looking couple

Together they traveled the world and raised 4 wonderful children.  Family was everything to my Grandma.  She organized family reunions, hosted cousin weeks, called, sent gifts for every holiday and truly spent time getting to know each one of her 18 grandchildren.

My sister and I were visiting one day when she was sick.  She had experienced a series of heart attacks and other problems and needed rest.  We loved to go visit and clean up her home a bit (not that it needed much), eat lunch with her and spend an hour or two talking.  It gave me great pleasure to serve her since she had spent her life serving and loving her family.  While we were there on one visit she was resting her feet on a beautiful footstool we had seen before.  She asked us if she had ever told us the story of the footstool.  

I'll let my sister Chris tell the story in the words she wrote after Grandma was gone.

"Grandma had a neighbor that had a small step stool.  She would carry it outside to do yard work and leave it out in the rain.  Grandma, having grown up poor, asked the woman one day why she took such a nice foot stool and used it for such dirty work.  The neighbor made some off hand comment about 'this old thing.'  She remarked that she didn't really think it was that great of a stool.

In typical Grandma fashion, she could see the beauty in something that others could not see. She boldly asked the neighbor is she could have the stool.  The neighbor gave the stool to her, still unable to see the beauty in it.  

Grandma sanded, stained, and hand stitched a new cover for that old stool.  It is now a beautiful piece of furniture in her home."

Grandma's Footstool

Chris continues: "How many of us grand kids became like that footstool?  I know that I thought no one but Grandma could see the beauty hidden beneath my dirty exterior.  During those summer weeks with grandma, I became that step stool.  She sanded me off where I was a little rough, put a new shine on me, and hand stitched my exterior in confidence and love.  Then she set me out before the world to shine. I knew that my parents loved me no matter what I was.  I knew my Grandma loved me because of what I was."

My sister Chris and I with our grandparents Janice and Boyd

Grandma's gift of unconditional love was priceless.  Additionally, she knew our potential and did all she could to help us achieve it.  What a gift this type of love is.  With our children, special needs or typical, they must feel unconditionally loved.  However, we must also help them see their potential because we see it. 

Grandma's stool now lives in my home for 12 months, then travels to my sister's home for 12 months.  This beautiful stool reminds us to show great love and acceptance to our own children, while also helping them achieve their potential.  All children need the type of love my Grandma could give.  I hope I have learned this lesson well enough to pass it on to my own children.  

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