Today, August 21, 2019, my Gram would have turned 101. She lived to be 95, and she's the inspiration for the Enjoy-Your-Life journey that brought me to fasting (and motivated me to write Unmired).
That has her on my mind, but she is never far from my thoughts. Last week, talk about coffee reminded me of her pragmatic and peaceful ways. For my entire memory,, she drank Chock Full 'O Nuts. Maybe Maxwell House or Folgers if it was on sale, but price was king. She had a stovetop percolator when I was little, but from my teen years on, a basic electric drip coffee maker. Again, cheap...whatever was cheapest. She was not a coffee snob, a food snob, or an anything snob. She had what she had - it was enough.
My grandmother loved to learn, but she never had internet access or cable TV. She read the newspaper, watched PBS, referred to a shelf of encyclopedias. She watched Jeopardy. She looked up words she didn’t know in the dictionary. She didn't have ALL the information - she had enough.
She might have been interested in learning about Fair Trade and the origin of coffee beans from the perspective of the human beings out in the fields farming the land. She was curious about stories, about people. She was passionately interested in their lives, their families, and what made them tick.
I wonder what Gram would have done with the emerging health info about coffee --concerns about invisible toxins or microscopic molds ---effects of caffeine on the central nervous system, circadian rhythms, sleep. I can't imagine it would have given her much pause. It seemed she was grateful to have food and drink. She ate, drank, and trusted her body to work the rest out. It worked out well for her, because she lived to be 95 years old in relatively good health. She may just be an anecdote, but she’s my favorite anecdote.
I believe my grandmother's life was a model for my own. I can't go back and replicate hers -- my own looks different from hers in a dozen ways before 8:00 AM --she never even drove a car. But what I adored about her, more than her abundant, seemingly endless love and acceptance of me, is that she felt like freedom. She lived from a place where she approved of herself as she was, accepted others as they were, and enjoyed her life.
I have to decide how much information I want and need, and how much it helps (or harms) my quest for freedom. This freedom compass guides me as I move through the world and make choices. Happy 101st, Gram - it’s your birthday, but I’m the one who keeps receiving your gifts.