Life Side-by-Side

Grammy was my mom’s mom. She and I were close. When I was little, I’d often go to her house on Sunday afternoons or spend the night. We played Solitaire side by side. We had tea parties. I roller skated for hours in her large driveway (or in her basement on rainy days). She let me eat Jello with whipped cream and Little Debbie treats.

Grammy was still alive when I got married, and I wanted to learn how to fix my favorites of her recipes. I could have simply copied her recipes but I scheduled a day of cooking with her. (1) It was going to be fun to spend an entire day with her, and (2) I knew I’d
learn more of her “secrets” by working by her side. The women in our family don’t necessarily follow recipes closely, so handing over a recipe usually won’t duplicate someone’s end result.

Lasagna and custard were the two recipes I remember requesting. I wrote specific notes as Grammy blended, whipped, and
folded ingredients. I still have my original notes, and I’ve used them many times (I’m getting hungry for both recipes as I type!). I learned what ingredients I could substitute and what were “must haves.” I learned a couple short cuts. I learned how to tell when each dish was “just right” to pull from the oven and how soon I could serve them.

Most of all, it was a great day – not because I learned how to make Grammy’s lasagna and custard but because I got to spend the day and make memories with her.

She died several years later, and the end of her life was tough on our relationship, but I have a lot of great memories with her. Her life was a gift to me. I’m sure there were times I took her for granted, but I’m glad for the times we invested time in each other.

There are people – related or not – in your life who can pour into you. Who comes to mind? How are their lives a gift to you?

There are people – related or not – in your life you can pour into. Who comes to mind? How is your life a gift to them?

Write two notes of encouragement – one to someone who influences your life and the other to someone whose life you influence. Don’t put it off. Do life side by side. You’ll learn a lot more than you might expect.

A good person gives life to others; the wise person teaches others how to live. Proverbs 11:30

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