Grant and Maria had their first parade experience on Saturday. It was the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in our area and proved to be one of the best. The weather was perfect and the crowd was lively. We almost missed it, though. While we were walking from where we parked, my 80-year young grandmother tripped on an uneven piece of sidewalk and landed on her head. I was walking ahead of her and mom, and didn’t see it happen, but I heard the thud. I turned around and there was Grandmother on the ground. She got her bearings and we collected her broken glasses and assessed any damage. She busted her eyebrow, but was otherwise intact. She got up, brushed herself off and we moved forward. I worked on fixing her glasses and she worked on watching her step. She said she landed on her boob, but thankfully, it was the side with her original one. She was happy she didn’t land on the side with her implant, as she’s busted one before while snow skiing, and she was happy she didn’t bust up her teeth. She said “any other 80 year old lady would still be on the ground. Not me!” You have to love her attitude.

When we made it to the parade, my dad retrieved drinks and Grandmother used the beer bottle as an icepack for her eyebrow. We settled in on the curb and started enjoying the action. Grant sat mesmerized, exclaiming, “Oh, wow!” every two seconds. Maria was a bit overwhelmed at first and stayed glued to my mom, however, started to get into picking up the candy tossed toward us. Grant happily collected beads, hats, candy and whatever else was thrown at us. They even both got chameleon Beany Babies. They were disappointed when we had to leave after an hour so we could make it to church on time.

When we talked about the day, I reflected on two lessons.
• One: when you fall down; get back up. Grandmother is an excellent example of overcoming adversity. She left home at 15 for a better situation, was widowed at age 36 with seven children between the ages of 2 and 16, and had breast cancer at age 40. She’s always kept going and has a positive attitude. Many in her situation(s) would have stopped living, but not her. She’s always up to something new.

• Two: leave when you still want more. Not only do you beat the rush, but it’s good to leave wanting more and looking forward to the next time. I’ve surprised a few people when I’ve said I want my kids to want things. I don’t think it’s the best to give your kids everything they ever want or ask for. A healthy dose of “want” can be good for a person’s drive and character.

There it is folks…life lessons from the St. Patty’s day parade. You never know where life will hand you nuggets of wisdom.

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