Words of Wisdom

30 Apr

As I venture forward into a future without Sue or Shirley, I’m comforted by these words of wisdom from Shirley herself. They are from a speech she wrote for our wedding, and I read them at her service.

Take advantage of the insight that only a century of living and loving can truly bring. I think you’ll find there are lessons in here that speak to each and every one of us.

From Shirley:

I learned that life doesn’t always go the way you plan, but I also learned that is not always a bad thing. Sometimes the curves life throws us can unexpectedly lead to a better path.

Herschel and I survived many challenges during our 50 years together, but during that time we grew up, and fortunately for us, we grew together. We discovered just how important it was to be honest with one another and not to be afraid to say “I’m sorry” when things didn’t go quite the way we intended.

We learned to treasure the friendship we started with and to build on that relationship. We grew to understand we could be angry and upset with one another, and that wouldn’t change the love we had for each other.

We came to respect the strengths and the weaknesses we each brought to our life together, and we developed a sense of humor. We discovered that laughter often helped ease the way to better understanding. Many of the things we initially thought were disappointments and mistakes ended up being our true successes.

Life is made up of so many things: passion, adventure, love, frustration, disappointments, and successes, but as I look back on my life, I can say it was a wonderful journey and one I’d love to do over again if I could.

I’m not going to attempt to tell you how to manage your life. You’ll learn that just as I did. I only pray that it will be as successful, happy, and long, and that you, too, will one day be able to look back and be able to say:

It was a wonderful journey.

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18 Responses to “Words of Wisdom”


  1. 9 Years & Counting « My Castle Heart - August 24, 2012

    […] anniversary to my husband, without whom I would be, know, have, appreciate, and understand so much […]

  2. 3 Days with Shirley « My Castle Heart - August 27, 2012

    […] Sue. We discussed the great mysteries—love, destiny, life, death, hope—through the lens that only a century of experience can provide. My 3-Day cheer crew, back at […]

  3. 8 Beginner Genealogy Tips « My Castle Heart - September 3, 2012

    […] pedigree chart is pretty boring by itself. By piecing together a family story alongside historical facts, readers get a better understanding of their relatives’ lives and […]

  4. Grandparents Day « My Castle Heart - September 10, 2012

    […] talk a lot about Sue and Shirley and how I’m making it my mission to make them an everyday part of Szaba’s life, even […]

  5. The Game Father « My Castle Heart - September 24, 2012

    […] Shirley went to special lengths like this for Aaron and the rest of their grandchildren when they were […]

  6. Dia de Los Muertos « My Castle Heart - November 2, 2012

    […] Words of Wisdom […]

  7. Elect to Party « My Castle Heart - November 5, 2012

    […] there’s one thing Sue and Shirley loved, it was a good party. We may not have always seen eye to eye on politics, but we definitely […]

  8. Inspiring Minds: Bruce Lee « My Castle Heart - November 7, 2012

    […] be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. In other words, to let the […]

  9. 5 Lessons from Rudolph « My Castle Heart - November 23, 2012

    […] 5. Don’t take things for granted. […]

  10. Holiday Gift Ideas « My Castle Heart - November 26, 2012

    […] your family matriarch or patriarch write a “Words of Wisdom” letter for the […]

  11. These Are a Few of My Favorite Things « My Castle Heart - December 24, 2012

    […] history from Shirley over a glass […]

  12. 2012 « My Castle Heart - January 2, 2013

    […] Most Wise: Tips from Shirley’s 91 Years […]

  13. Picture Puzzles « My Castle Heart - January 9, 2013

    […] many of you know, a pivotal point for our family in 2012 was the loss of Grandma Shirley. Her absence was all the more piercing at the holidays, when we were so used to seeing her buzzing […]

  14. Honoring a Sue Tradition | My Castle Heart - June 27, 2013

    […] mom Shirley even got Szaba a poofy dress for the occasion. I thought you might be amused by our attempts to […]

  15. Wedding Readings | My Castle Heart - July 25, 2013

    […] May these reflections give you strength and encouragement, Chris and Cara, from now in the shiny-new phase through the wonderful patina that the years will bring. Best wishes on our marriage adventure! […]

  16. Birthday Wishes | My Castle Heart - July 25, 2013

    […] Words of wisdom from my 93-year-old grandma […]

  17. Great Expectations | My Castle Heart - October 3, 2013

    […] #2: Our kids will still have seven grandparents that love them, even if their relationship with two of them is now mine to foster. They’ll also have a wonderfully vast and diverse network of family and […]

  18. Parenting Under the Influence | My Castle Heart - March 24, 2014

    […] I lost my adored mother-in-law, Sue, and grandmother-in-law, Shirley, mere months after having my first child, the thought of raising my daughter without them was, […]

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