I believe you can truly judge ones character by how they face the world through tough times. A positive attitude is easy to maintain when life is carefree and worry free but quite another story when faced with difficulty. It's so easy to get caught up in your own life and worries and forget people around you have the same amount, if not more going on in their lives. I try to remember all the positive people in my life and think how would they handle a situation. One of those people is my soon to be 86-year old grandmother, Vivian Chenault. She always has a smile (and makeup) on her face, no matter what life has thrown her. She makes the best out of every situation even though she has seen her fair share of hard times. Even the day my grandfather died she was looking on the bright side and staying strong for her family. I know that was probably the toughest day of her life but she handled it with such dignity and grace.
Markus with his new bride and grandmothers
Some of you had the pleasure of meeting her at the wedding and can attest to what a wonderful woman she is. I was the most nervous to tell her that we had decided to get married in Jamaica, on a beach, without the presence of our church. She is a pretty religious lady and I thought for sure she would want me to get married in our church. Being in her mid 80's I also wondered if she was going to be able to make the long flight down to the islands. I couldn't imagine getting married without her presence and wrestled with if this was enough to have it in Virginia. In the end we decided that we would make the sacrifice of not having all of our loved ones there in order to have the wedding in our hearts. I was thrilled when we told our family and they were so supportive. Grandmama Chenault was so happy for us and never once complained of the wedding being so far. She and my dad immediately went out and got their passports and she told everyone she was going to Jamaica to see her eldest grandchild get married. Soon after we made the announcement the wedding would be in Jamaica, my grandmother was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. That didn't stop her from seeing me get married. She made sure her doctor knew she had a plane to catch mid November and wasn't going to miss it for the world. It was such a blessing to have her on the beach with us that day. I will never forget it as long as I live. She told me after the ceremony that she was proud of me for going down the aisle, even though it was raining. That when they announced I had said let the show go on she thought to herself that's exactly what she would have done. That made me especially happy to know.
Meme and Grandma Chenault before the ceremony
We get the test results today to see if the 2nd round of chemo worked. As I type, she is in the hospital for the 2nd time in a week fighting pneumonia. I talked with her today and even though her voice sounded a little weak her spirit was still there. She was already looking toward the future and making plans to continue our baking lessons. She said the hospital wasn't exactly where she wanted to spend the weekend but it was nice to get some rest and be so well taken care of.
I don't know what the future holds for my grandma or for any of us. But I know that she lives her life to the fullest and has had a blessed life. I'm not finished learning from her but I hope I have learned enough so that when she is no longer here her spirit can live on through me. She inspires me to always keep my head up and I hope that I can be half the person she is one day.