Gram’s Golden Words of Wisdom

My grandma Hayes was one of the most influential people in my life. I always felt unconditionally loved and cherished by her. She believed in me – always!

I remember just before gram died in October 2014, I asked her, “What can I do with my life to make sure I live a life as honorably as you have?” She turned toward me, laid her weathered hand on my arm, leaned in, and whispered, “You are already living an honorable life. Keep doing what you are doing. I am so proud of you.”

I really miss her! There isn’t a day that passes that I don’t think about her wisdom and the wonderful advice she has given me. 

Gram’s Golden Words of Wisdom:

1.      When you tell the truth you don’t have to worry about what you said –We never got in trouble when we told grandma the truth. I’ve learned that the truth is not always easy, but it’s always the truth. The truth matters, especially when we’re talking to yourself. We know our truth, and therein lies our strength!

2.       Be careful of your thoughts and words they’ll become your actions and habits – I’ve learned that our words have the power to heal or hurt. My grandmother often reminded me that our thoughts become our words and our words our actions and habits. She once shared that our legacy begins by the thoughts we think and to catch ourselves when we have thoughts that don’t feel good to our heart. “Your heart knows,” she’d say, “Make sure your brain believes.”

3.      Thank God for your blessings – Blessings always included family, a roof over our heads, and food on the table. Once when I was in church with my grandma pastor said, “When what you have becomes enough, you will have more.” I later asked my gram what it meant, she simply replied, “Be happy with what you have! You are a child of God, that is enough.

4.      Always wear clean underwear – This was literal advice, with no hidden meaning. But I’d like to think that like the book entitled, “Always wear clean underwear, and other ways parents say I love you,” was gram’s way of looking out for me and showing her enduring love.

5.      Always be proud of your roots – It does matter where you come from because it’s how you learn what to give the world. It what we learn from your family. I can still hear my grandma saying, “Be part of the solution, not the problem.” It’s funny, but that’s exactly what I tell my team when they want to complain about a co-worker, or challenging project.

6.      Learn from your mistakes or you’ll repeat them – When I goofed up, (and I’ve got a long list), I often turned to my grandma first, she always seemed to know the right thing to say to make me feel better. She’d say something like, “It’s going to be alright. I’ve done the same thing, it’ll get better, just learn from it, so you don’t have to do it again.”

7.      Believe in yourself and your dreams – We should have dreams and believe in our ability to achieve them! When I started my business in 1997 it was my grandma that gave me a small loan to do the first career training class for high schoolers. That was the beginning of a long-time dream I’d had to own my own business and to help people with their lives and careers. I have always been thankful for gram’s belief in me and my dream.

8.      Your tears matter! When my gram would dry my tears, as she often did, she never made me feel ashamed for showing my feelings. I always felt validated and understood. She’d say, “Your tears are your body’s way of cleaning out what hurts.” Expressing yourself is important, talking about your feelings and getting them out, is one of the best ways to maintain your mental and physical health.

I wish you all could have met my grandmother! You’d have loved her, and she’d have loved you back. I hope you’ll share a few words of wisdom your grandmother gave you.

My grandma’s birthday is on August 2nd she would have been 107 this year. Happy heavenly birthday gram, I love and miss you.

Love and blessings from the road!

Jeff and Katreena 😊

Jeff & Katreena's

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