YOUNG @ HEART!!
This movie is a must see. I watched it today, and went through every emotion possible. There aren't enough movies these days like this one ! Wish there were more to watch like this one. I laughed, cried, smiled, and felt the spirit! It inspired me and also made me miss my grandparents who have passed on. Brought back memories of them that warmed my heart. And also made me miss their physical presence, their words of encouragement and unconditional love. Especially at Fall during Harvest-(both of my grandfathers farmed) I get homesick for them. I get homesick for my grandma's Fall cooking, I get homesick for the farms. I have so many wonderful memories of them -and I never want to forget them. It inspired me to live my life to the best of my ability and enjoy it to the fullest! Live out each moment to it's fullest potential because you never know when you will leave this frail existence. It brought to mind how my grandparents pushed forward through sickness and ailments-and never stopped living their lives. They always showed up and lived! That's a choice we make every day - are we going to wake up and make the most out of our day-even when life is hard. We all have days we wish that we never got out of bed for -but at least we choose to get up and try our best to have a great day-you can't have the good days either if you don't show up and live!! A lot of times being happy is a daily choice. We all experience life in different ways. My grandparents were great examples of enduring-among the many other things they were great examples of. I want to leave my children and my children's children with a legacy. And I know that it will take a lot of hard work -but I intend to enjoy the process as well! I will never pass this way again . It will take constant evaluation on my part on a daily basis to be the best wife and mother I can be. I am trying to keep in mind what my fondest memories are-and what really mattered to me growing up. I remember wonderful home cooked meals made with lots of love. I remember their homes being filled with warmth. I could always feel the spirit there. I always felt so safe and secure there. For some reason all of those fond memories came rushing back as I watched this movie. I cried tears of happiness -for how blessed I am to have such wonderful grandparents. For the life they lived, the example they set. Yes, I miss them a lot. But I know I will see them again someday. And it brings comfort knowing they lived wonderful, righteous lives. They were always in constant giving mode. I pray to implement that more into my life. They thought of others, served others, loved others unconditionally -including me. They always made me feel like I was the best thing that was put on this earth. They loved me when I made wrong and good choices. They probably loved me more through the rough patches of growing up. They supported me in word and deed. My grandma Winder loved to listen to me play the piano. She was always encouraging me, and telling me I was naturally gifted. I thank my dad for entrusting me to accompany him while he sang at various occasions at a very young age. I pray I can help my kids develop their God given talents the way my parents and grandparents did for me. There was never a time where I felt like I failed in my grandparents eyes. Sometimes I wish I could go to their house again -which was right down the lane from my house growing up. And feel of their love, laughter, yummy home cooked meals, the spirit that was always there. Their home was only steps away and was always open to us. I miss having them at arms reach!! I miss going to get hugs and encouragement from them. I miss their scent. I miss their voices. I miss my grandfathers silly songs and all of the poems and stories he could recite from memory. He was an emotional person -he would cry easily when telling a story. I felt the spirit at a young age because of the parents and grandparents I have. I miss going on day long hikes with my grandpa Higley. He would take us on these long hikes -and they were hikes -up mountains, in the potholes. We would watch out for snakes -he would cook hot dogs for us in the brush. We would skip rocks and best of all we would listen to him sing and play his guitar to old cowboy songs. He truly was a cowboy at heart, and for that I learned how to be strong and independent. I learned a love of music from him, as he encouraged me and my cousins to sing along with him while he played the guitar. I learned a love of music from my dad -who is an amazing singer. I am always comforted when he sings. It's like a warm blanket the makes me feel safe from the world. While I was struggling this past winter -I attended church at my parents ward a lot. I would go even when I wasn't feeling very well. One Sunday he was performing the most beautiful song, about the Saviors Atonement. It was one of the best performances I have witnessed. It brought me to tears, and made me feel safe when the rest of my life seemed turned upside down. I am grateful I had the opportunity to play the piano at my grandma and grandpa's funeral. It was hard, but I wanted to honor them and thank them in that way. Music has always been a big part of my life. It's always been my escape. Listening to my dad, brothers, mom, grandfathers sing or play guitar brings me peace no matter what I am doing at the time. Playing the piano brings me peace. It's a getaway for me. It's been harder to fully enjoy playing while I've been raising kids. I am trying to instill the love of music in my own kids now. I am thankful they have a desire to learn certain instruments and feel of the spirit through music. There is no greater thing!! Jaron loves the guitar and drums -Mikenna is learning piano -and Brielle loves to sing and dance. I hope they find joy in music as I have. And I realize that kids learn a lot through example. I need to step up my piano playing and we need to sing more hymns in our home on a more regular basis. Nothing invites the spirit more than uplifting music. My grandma was an amazing homemaker. She kept a clean home, a home full of the spirit, she was an awesome seamstress, cook, gardener, mother and wife. While she was the most sick -and in a nursing home with various ailments -I made her a tape of different piano recordings that I used to play for her in her home while I was growing up. Her mind was not the same anymore. She was lost in a body and mind that wouldn't work properly anymore. There were certain things that helped her spirit shine through her aging mind and body. When you could tell, she was there -which was not very often in the end. One of those things that helped her spirit shine through was music. I believe music can heal. It has certainly proved true for me and my family. My mom is one of a kind. I feel so blessed to have her as my mom and friend. She is an amazing person period. She is probably the most upbeat person I know, always positive, lives by the spirit and makes it look easy. She is an amazing wife and mother and of course an awesome cook. She has also worked outside of the home, and to be able to do that and keep a home and be a wonderful wife and mother at the same time -nobody does that juggling better than her. She is also an amazing singer, writer and is one of the funniest people I know. She is wonderful at using humor to get through life. She doesn't take herself too seriously, and she always thinks of others before herself. She knows the gospel inside out and lives it well. She is the most talented, capable woman I know. One of the things that I admire about all of them, is that they always made/make themselves available to me. No matter what they are dealing with in their own lives-they are always there. I have felt them there through some of my challenges this past year. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the wonderful examples Heavenly Father has placed in my life. How can I ever measure up to these wonderful parents and grandparents that I have? I have decided that instead of trying to be them -I am going to be myself, and try and implement the way they live/lived in my own fashion and abilities. As long as the same messages get across -the way you do certain things really doesn't matter. Of course there are things that need to be same. I want to be like them in a lot of ways. I realize I have a little bit of each of them in my personality. But I am Mandy. And I will try and leave my children and their children with the same values and memories I have been raised with. But, by trying to stay true to myself and my talents and abilities. I know they have all struggled in life with different things -no body's perfect. But they always tried their best and showed up for life. And they weathered storms and accepted them as a part of life. Change is never easy. I don't think I will ever like them being gone physically from my life. Nobody likes losing loved ones, I am sure of that. I feel their sweet spirits around me all the time. And Fall is one of those times when I feel them really close. I am sure my grandfathers itch to get their hands in the dirt and harvest crop. Maybe they have all the dirt they could imagine to play in. I do know they are happy -and that makes me happy. And I know they are still a part of my life and always will be. Until we Meet again -I will enjoy the wonderful memories I have of them, and live my life as they would have me. Like I said -this movie brought about many emotions. If you choose to watch it, have a box of tissues handy -and your husband to hold your hand! You can't say that about most movies these days. I highly recommend it! Happy Fall Grandma & Grandpa Winder & Grandpa Higley. I miss you and love you! And I am sure you are preparing wonderful things for our family and continuing to serve others with your love and sweet spirits! I am grateful I am your granddaughter and I will continue to strive to make you proud!! Mom & Dad thank you for always being there for me, I am grateful I was blessed to be your daughter. You've always caught me when life was too much to handle. You share my joys and sorrows. You celebrate life with me and you also help me get back on my feet when life is hard. Your love, patience, time, commitment to your family is awesome. I hope to pass that on to my kids. I don't have much room to mess up in life. I can't say I didn't have good examples to draw from!! This movie will definetly go into my DVD collection as one of my favorites!!