How often do you use your age as an excuse? Either you’re too young, or too old? Have you used the excuse that at your age you’re no longer employable? Here are two stories that will not only inspire you, but prove age may be your excuse, but for others it just doesn’t matter.
My grandmother was a woman before her time. She was in the first teachers graduating class of Indiana State Normal School what is now called Indiana State University.
And grandfather could not read or write. He was too proud to let grandmother teach him. Even though he was labeled illiterate, he had no problems reading a blue print. Grandfather was a sought after steel worker foreman which he masterminded the construction of buildings in Indianapolis, the most famous, The Coliseum. Many of the bridges today in downtown Indianapolis, were originally constructed with the help of my grandfather. Not bad for a man who couldn’t read or write.
Grandmother always marveled over people who succeeded in spite of their disabilities, age or lack of education. One person comes to mind that grandmother always talked about.
She was a woman during the Depression, named Anna Marie Robertson Moses. Grandmother tells the story that Anna was gifted at embroidery. Everyday Anna worked diligently at her craft perfecting the patterns, stitching, and beauty of each piece she sewed. Day after day, year after year, she sewed beautiful works of art that were admired by everyone in her town. Soon, the constant sewing took a toll on Anna’s hands. She developed arthritis so severely that sewing with a needle became too painful for her to hold.
Anna, at age 76, was not going to be defeated by the arthritis and started searching for another way to create beauty. Soon after, in the mid 1930’s, she made her first canvas and began painting for the next 25 years!
In 1938, a traveling art collector saw her paintings in a drugstore window. He convinced her to show the paintings at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Her paintings became iconic and originally sold for $3.00 but skyrocketed to $10,000! The Sugaring Off was sold in 2006 for $1.2 million.
Her paintings appeared on greeting cards, posters and china plates. My grandmother proudly owned one of Anna’s painted plates, and always said to me,
“Christine, it’s never too late. Remember that when you’re my age.”
Anna’s paintings became so popular, she appeared on the front cover of Time magazine in 1953. She was fondly called “Grandma Moses.” When Anna died at 101, it made front-page news in the US and Europe. In 1969 she was honored with a U.S. Postage stamp for her painting, Fourth of July, which the White House owns.
Amazing! AND this is just one story of countless others that I can tell about people who exceeded all expectations during an age they should be…well…retired by society standards.
Is there a painting waiting inside of you? Or a book to be written hovering around your keyboard? How about a song trying to be sung…only if you would just sing?
As I approach the twilight years…I’m thinking about turning it into the Star Search years! My grandmother always strived to do more. From age 78- 81 she managed a woman’s residency in downtown Indianapolis. When I would go visit her, she’d have a group of people there learning to read. She was always the teacher and always inviting hobos (as she called them) in for one of her famous hot cooked meals and homemade apple pies. Grandmother died at 81 of complications due to diabetes.
Grandma Moses inspired my grandmother. I’m inspired by both of them….Two strong, creative women who didn’t know a limitation.
Find a story that inspires you and let it move you towards your next chapter.
Tell me your story below in the comments…I’d love to hear yours!