Mainely Running
Join me as I train in Maine and race all over the world in pursuit of my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ellie's Inspiration

Over the weekend I went to a funeral for my grandmother's best friend, Ellie. From the moment she was born, at just 1.5 lbs, Ellie faced major obstacles. She spent her early days in the wood-stove to stay warm and drank sour milk. She grew into a thriving toddler, that befriended the little girl next door, my grandmother. That friendship endured until the day my grandmother died, despite time and distance. They saw each other when they could, and wrote long letters many times a week. This is a lesson to me, I have no friendships this close despite having so many ways to connect.

As the oldest of 6 children, Ellie went to work in a factory in order to support the family, so her brothers and sisters could go to college and peruse their dreams. Ellie went on to work as a farmer, a housekeeper, a nanny, a grocery store clerk, and finally at the age of 79 she decided to take on a new job caring for the "elderly." None of the jobs was easy or glamorous, but Ellie did all with spirit and a smile. Ellie's husband was killed in WWII, leaving her with 2 young daughters to raise. Her daughter Lindy spoke at the funeral saying "I realize now things weren't easy, but we never knew that. Mom made an adventure out of everything. We'd hop in the back of the car, sitting on buckets, because it didn't have a backseat, and drive until we got tired. Then we'd get out and have a picnic and see what we could find." Adventure was in Ellie's soul. She, her sisters, and sometimes my grandmother went on many trips, everywhere from Amish country to Las Vegas. Her sister Ruthie recalled one trip to Acadia national park where their hotel reservation was lost. So they found a local church and camped with the hippies in the basement.

Facing some major changes, I am trying to channel Ellie's spirit and look at life as an adventure. We can't choose what life throws at us, but we can change how we deal with it. Ellie would not want us to dwell on her death, she would want us to throw a party and hop in the car and head off into the unknown to see what we can find.

1 comment:

  1. she is really an inspiration. thanks for sharing this. I am touched by her story.. ~ marmot jackets ~