Wendy Gladney (File photo)

I once heard that the sweetest sounds in the English language are the words home, a person’s name, and the word mother. In my case, the word with the sweetest sound is the word grandmother.  

My grandmother came to my rescue when I was a child, and my life was confusing and complicated. Her love gave me the stability that I needed and her example of what a God-centered woman should be became the model that I patterned my life after.  

Her values were the foundation in which I stand on today and the values I taught my children. Those values are to love God and family, always keep learning, and care for others and your community.   

I love my children and I thought I could never love anyone more than them, but when my grandchildren were born, my heart grew bigger and I experienced another dimension of love. Being a grandmother is both a privilege and a pleasure.   

For generations, grandmothers have often stood in the gap for their families.  They were honored and revered by their children and progeny.  They were valued for their wisdom and experience that they would pass on to the next generation. They would share family history and stories to help keep the legacy and knowledge of one’s family alive.  

As in my case, my grandmother, also known as “Mother Dear,” not only shared wisdom, but she also made sure I stayed on the straight and narrow and understood that God had a plan for my life. 

My grandmother’s birthday is on May 18th.  She was the first born free in our family.  Her father was born in the early 1860’s before the end of the Civil War.  She was raised in Texas and after finishing school at Bishop College and marrying my grandfather, they eventually moved to California.   

My grandmother had nine children and a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, and more.  Her love expanded beyond just her own children. As a schoolteacher, she also helped and loved children that she counseled and some even came to live with us.  For her, charity began at home, but did not end there.  

As I celebrate my grandmother’s birthday, it is my honor to pay respect and gratitude to her for not only guiding me on my way, but for touching the lives of all those she came across.  Although, my grandmother is no longer with us, I will forever be grateful for her love, her wisdom, and the role model she was for many others and especially for me.  

I recently attended a funeral of an old family friend and several of the attendees, some that I did not even know, came up to me and shared how my grandmother touched their lives with her kindness. Because of her legacy her children and her children’s children have been blessed and highly favored.  

If your grandmother is still with you, I encourage you to spend as much time as you can with her. Ask her to share stories from her childhood, ask her to share photos of family members, find out what makes her happy and what were some of her dreams.   

Learn as much as you can so you can pass along your family history to future generations.  I love family history and when I talk to some of my friends and colleagues, many of them do not even know the names of their great-grandparents.  Do not let the legacy of your family stop with you.  

 Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on. 


Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker.