My beloved grandmother passed away recently. She was the matriarch of our family without the auspicious power that often goes with that title. She earned the title through quiet kindness and love. The one quality that I always knew but never heard verbalized until her funeral, which the pastor said so succinctly, was that she was “content.” I never heard her complain or speak badly of anyone. She embodied contentment. Until her last few years, when her body began to fail her, she was constantly in motion in service of someone else. My grandfather, whose every want she attended to. Every grandchild always had some homemade treat, each great grandchild had a “treasure chest” waiting for their excited arrival. She was good thru and thru, and she was content. Was it this contentment something she was born with; did she work on it? It is something that I will have to work at. I recognize the good things in my life. My family, our love, the farm, but contentment is something I must work on. Her kind of contentment is something that I will aspire to. Does the judgement that I carry, which is one of the things that drives me to do the good things I do, cloud my contentment?
I sit here writing on the patio of my sweet little home that sits on our beautiful farm. This should be a time for gratitude and absolute contentment. My two beautiful, healthy girls play in the yard as my supportive, kind husband sits beside me. He is giving me the space I need to write as he knows it is catharsis for me. He answers each of the girls million questions that begin with “Mommy…”. I have gratitude but not contentment. Every “Mommy” I hear stirs a grumble and reaction “what do they need now?” as I try to concentrate. How do I reach contentment? This will be my work. To be content and not have these thoughts pop in my head and be content. Have my reaction be “How can I help you?”, rather than “What do you want!?”. Did grandma think these same things and never verbalized them? I don’t think so. Her contentment was so genuine that you could see it. She wasn’t surrounded by material things, in fact, her life was very modest. She didn’t have the attention that a high-powered career could give, she quietly served and loved and was content in it.