I tell my daughters that they come from a long line of strong women.
There are many types of strength, but I think that a quiet and compassionate strength is likely the most beautiful. It is this type of strength that allows for universal greatness. A person of quiet and compassionate strength spends her life as a people builder — inspiring others to greatness.
I was blessed to grow up down the street from my grandparents. I learned so much from each of them individually, as well as from watching them as a couple. My beloved Grannie was the quiet strength that held the family together. Her unconditional devotion to both her husband of 70+ years as well as to her children and grandchildren defined her as a truly remarkable woman.
Today, there are very few people willing to sacrifice personal accolades in order to enhance the lives of those that they love —
Irma Winter McCall was that type of person.
She was driven by a commitment to compassionate empathy — devoted to nurturing those around her.
While I cannot even begin to describe all that my Grannie taught me, the following lessons are those that I hold closest to my heart:
- Marriage is a sacred commitment. Honor it by cherishing your husband.
- Family is the epicenter of life’s true joy. Be a devoted nurturer.
- True beauty exists when love is given unconditionally. Love without judgement.
- Real strength lies in your ability to support and inspire others to greatness. Success is defined by how many people you quietly mentor.
- Empathy requires an open mind, and the realization that others have something meaningful to give. Look outside of yourself so that you can be a student of the world.
It was one of my greatest joys to share my children with my grandparents. They routinely visited Nebraska — my grandfather to bird watch, and Grannie to play with her great-grandchildren. My girls will make their life journey realizing the same lessons that I learned from this very special lady. They will understand that although I falter at times in my own journey, that Grannie is truly “the best part of me”.
She will be there — her spirit holding us all together — smiling down from heaven while holding my grandfather’s hand.