Living 100 Years

Rachel HauckOn May 8th, my maternal Grandmother turned 100.

On May 10th, her family gathered in Tennessee to celebrate.

It was two days of craziness, fun, and a treasure the heart won’t forget.

There were 12 kids under the age of ten. Four over the age of  13.

Two babies! My seven month old nephew is the youngest.

My brother came with his granddaughter which made her a great, great granddaughter to my grandma.

Of course, Hubby and I were there with our “kid,” Lola, the 14-year-old mini schnauzer.

The time went by too fast. And there was so much going on we didn’t get much time to reminisce, all though our first night together, we build a bonfire and my youngest brother started the story telling. Which he’s very good at doing.

But, my Grandma… I’m so blessed to have her for 100 years. Her home was always warm, cozy, inviting and filled with good food and tempting aromas.

She is a woman of faith, one who loves Jesus.

When my older brother and I were kids, we loved going to Grandma’s house because there were always presents hidden for us somewhere.

Don’t remember when that ended but… darn! ;)

Laughter… I remember lots of laughter. And of course Grandma and my grandpa were big Ohio State fans.

When Grandma was born, the Titanic had only been on the ocean floor two years!

World War I had not yet begun.

Woodrow Wilson was president.

Babe Ruth was a 19 year old rookie.

Rag Time was all the musical rage.

Charlie Chaplin released his first film.

Rachel Hauck

Grandma as a baby. With her sisters. Ohio 1914.

Grandma was born on a farm where they did not have electricity, phones, radios or indoor plumbing.

Grandma was a praying woman, and I’m sure her prayers resonate in the heavens to this day.

When I asked her if she ever thought she’d see her 100th birthday, she smiled, “No, no, I never thought I would.”

As the weekend ended, and hubby and I headed home, I teared up.

I felt blessed and fortunate to have such a family. We get along. We love each other. We love Jesus (the key ingredient!)

Yet, I was sad to leave everyone. Usually my first response is to consider what I would’ve liked to have done differently, or “how I didn’t take advantage of the time to talk to this person or that” or I don’t know, any number of negative crap-things that have no value.

Or I might worry the lot of us won’t see each other again until someone dies, but this time, I just let myself be glad, feel happy, and love everyone one.

The reunion was a hectic time but I loved it. Hearts connected. We promised to do it again next year. With all of those first and second cousins under the age of 10 running around, how can we not help them create their own special memories and bonds?

Here’s what some of my family said about the weekend:

“Back in 1914 I had 50 cents. Bought a house, a car and put 17 cent in the bank!” Brother Joel, who stole that from Bill Cosby. :)

“Cousins, craziness, cabins, camping, 4 generations, 100 years, traveling woes, no plan is the best plan – all worth it for family!” Cousin Morgan.

“It was a great time, and so good to be together.” Aunt Linda.

“Coming together for such a momentous occasion and sharing the time, memories, similarities in life and faith in Christ, it’s what family is.” Brother Joel again.

“I loved talking to everyone. And the ride on the pontoon boat.” Hubby.

“It was such a sweet time but also filled with lots of laughter, great company, and Publix cake! What more could you ask for?” Cousin Keri

Rachel HauckAs the cherry on top, my sister’s daughter whom she gave up for adoption 22 years ago, came to the party with her mom and fiancé. She met the whole family! All at once.

She fit right in and was most welcome. See any resemblance.

For her, an open adoption worked the best. Alysha’s mom was very open with her children about their adoption while nurturing them in and growing them up in love.

Alysha knows she’s all loved, all the time, from all of her kinfolk.

 

What about you? Do you enjoy family reunions? Do you have them often? What value is family? If you lived 100 years, what would your world be like?

***

Rachel Hauck, Once Upon A Prince, royal wedding seriesBest-selling, award-winning author Rachel Hauck loves a great story.

She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship for their annual conference. She was named ACFW 2013 Mentor of the Year. She is also on staff at My Book Therapy as their book therapist.

Rachel lives in Florida, where she is also a worship leader, with her husband and mini schnauzer.

Her novel, The Wedding Dress, was named Romantic Times Inspirational Novel of the Year and is an Amazon #1 Best Seller.

Her novel, Once Upon A Prince, earned starred reviews from Booklist and Publisher’s Weekly, and hit #1 on Amazon in Christian romance. It was recently nominated for a Christy Award!

Her latest releases, Princess Ever After and A March Bride released in February. Buying options on web site: www.rachelhauck.com

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Lisa Wingate says

    Such sweet thoughts about family and what it really means, Rachel! Thank you for letting us come along to your family reunion. Sounds like a time the whole family will long remember. These days, with everyone so busy, we don’t do nearly enough of that kind of thing.

    Hugs!
    Lisa

  2. Julie Cantrell says

    Hi Rachel, Your family sounds amazing, and I sure hope I live to see 100. You should be recording all your grandmother’s stories…and that story of your niece’s adoption too. Sounds like a lot of important journeys to share. Hugs and thanks for the smiles. j

    • Rachel Hauck says

      Julie, I’m not sure we can get them down. We tired at her 90th but I’m not sure we knew what to ask. She remembers things now but gets confused.

      But we do have some stories!

  3. says

    What a precious time with your dear family, Rachel. Those gatherings are truly priceless! Thank you for sharing a glimpse into such a warm environment and life. And congrats to that sweet grandma of yours. She looks like a dear! Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. ;)

  4. Nicole Seitz says

    Rachel,
    This is gorgeous. I love most that you didn’t let anything steal your joy of the day. How many times are our amazing moments together stolen away by “this may be the last time we…” and then sadness hits. I say this even as I will surely bawl my eyes out next week when my niece graduates from high school. But I will think of you and remember to let go of all the negative and just sieze the day!
    Nicole

  5. says

    Wow, great story! Loved the photo of your grandma as a baby with her sisters. And the part about your sister’s daughter, who was adopted, coming to the party….okay, I need a hanky now. ;-) Love these family stories!

  6. says

    So amazing that your Grandmother was able to enjoy a family reunion at age 100! My Grandmother passed at age 96, ten years ago. Unfortunately dementia had taken much of her memory, but when I visited her every Sunday our bond of love was always present.

  7. says

    What a gift to celebrate your grandmother’s 100th Birtfhay, Rachel. I’m so glad you were able to resist all the whatif’s and embrace the moments of that day!

    I love family reunions!!

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