You Were Born to Bloom: Advice From My Grandfather

As I pack up and prepare to sell our home, I am coming across many items. Then I have to go through a process of what to hang on to and what not to.

During this process, I came across my Paw-Paw's love letters to my Nani that he sent to her while he was in the Navy in WWII.

One would think a bundle of love letters would be full of sweet poems and romantic ideas of their future together. My grandfather, however, wrote an amazing amount of advice to my grandmother.

After reading through some of them, I definitely realize where I get much of my sensibility from. He died when I was in the 8th grade, so I only got to know him as a loving (his last name was Loving, which was very fitting), funny and supportive person. The letters helped me understand he was a much deeper visionary than I knew.

As my husband and I transition into new adventures (selling our home, traveling, starting a business and more), reading my grandfathers words made me know that life only is beginning to bloom for us. We have lived in Louisville our whole lives. We've traveled a bit, but know that there is so much more out there for us to see.

It is hard for some to understand why I left a stable job and why we are selling our home and letting go of so much, but I think my grandfather summed up my feelings in this paragraph in one of his letters:

"If you ever have a chance to enjoy yourself in a nice way, don't ever let anyone stop you. If you can't explain the situation to them so they can understand, just go ahead and hurt their feelings. You have that in writing Carol. Save it so both of us will read it over and over. Life is too short to let one person make it miserable. I am going to enjoy myself and do I what I like, aren't you? They call it being broad-minded and that is what I preach."

He understood that you must let go of what others think in order to live the best life you wish for yourself. I believe we were all born to bloom and become exactly who we want to be. It may take some effort, but you may end up being miserable if you don't.

I will definitely be keeping my grandfather's letters. There are some things worth hanging on to and his beautiful words and ideas, even from the 1940's, still ring true today.

Sketch by Carolyn J. Braden: Born to Bloom

Sketch by Carolyn J. Braden: Born to Bloom

Letters from my Grandfather

Letters from my Grandfather