As I struggled to stifle the hurt pounding my chest during the unbearable task of organizing my Grandmother’s life, I noticed the slightly opened drawer of her bedside table was still untouched. I slid my hand through the stuck drawer and discovered her bible. Upon lifting it a smooth yellowed piece of paper sprung forth and then gently eased its way towards the berber. Had I discovered some hidden treasure, I thought, and was paralyzed as I watched the ceiling fan force its worn crease and torn edges to dance across the floor. As I pulled it near I could still smell her perfume and clutched the note in fear that I might somehow lose her again. She was a strong person-who had come to America from Lithuania on a boat with her two brothers during WWII and had lived in the basement of an undertaker’s home in Cicero, IL. I had never heard her cry and I can’t recall a time I wasn’t filled with absolute joy every time I saw her. I slowly unfolded the paper and saw a glimpse into her strength:
“Just for today I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do something for 12 hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.
Just for today I will be happy. This is assumed to be true, that most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.
Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought, and concentration.
Just for today I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my luck as it comes, and fit myself into it.
Just for today I will be mindful of three important things: I will do somebody a good turn, and not get found out. I will do at least two things I don’t want to do– just for exercise. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; that may be hurt, but today I will not show it.
Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, talk low, act courteously, criticize not one bit, not find fault with anything and not try to improve or regulate anybody except myself.
Just for today I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from three pests: hurry, indecision, and waste.
Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by myself and relax. During this half hour leisure, I will try to get a better perspective of my life.
Just for today I will have no fear. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.”