(Nany’s passport photo circa 1960)
Back in October, I penned a post that began with a look at our seemingly
The post touched on our coveting and yearning for a sense of royalty…
At the beginning of the post, I mused over the US obsession with all things Royal, as I
wondered where that may have come from.
A few weeks later I wrote a post about the Queen and her quintessential purse…
So many folks wonder as to why a Queen would constantly be seen carrying a handbag
hanging from her arm.
The post also touched on the boorish behavior displayed by some of the guests she
entertained during a dinner for the NATO leaders
So should we think it odd that the Royal family is not even “ours” and yet they are
practically all over every news outlet we have?
We are Royal watchers even if we don’t mean to be as their faces, names,
and stories, especially in recent months, have been all we see.
They are there when we flip on our televisions.
They are there when we are standing at the check-out line at the grocery store staring out at
us from every tabloid stacked on the shelves.
They are there when we click on our computers.
I wonder, are our across the pond cousins equally as intrigued with their Royals as we are?
Elizabeth was crowned Queen on June 2, 1953.
My parents were married on June 16, 1953.
With those two events each taking place within days of one another, my parents
actually received several Royal pieces of china commemorating the coronation
as wedding presents.
Items I still have today.
As long as I’ve been alive, the Queen has always been…a constant during my 60 years of life.
Just as it should be as she is the longest-reigning monarch surpassing
her great grandmother Victoria and her namesake predecessor, Elizabeth I.
When I was a 21-year-old college kid, I had spent my college summers up in
North Carolina as a camp counselor at a Christian girl’s summer camp.
Our home, when I was growing up, as many of you well know if you have read any
of my posts, was quite dysfunctional.
It was my saving grace being able to transition from my 9 months away at school
to my 3 month summers up in North Carolina.
Meaning, I was home only sparingly.
The last summer that I was working at camp prior to my senior year in college,
when the two sessions had each ended, I came home for a few weeks before I was to head
back to school.
I had several older friends who actually lived year-round on the grounds of the camp
or near the camp and I was already missing them terribly.
Despite being home for only a few days, I was homesick for my home-away-from-home.
If, following graduation, I could have made a full-time job working at camp year-round,
I would have done it.
At that time in my life, it was about the only place I actually felt God’s presence
deep in my being.
So one mid-August night when I was back home,
I’d come in from an evening out with friends finding my brother still up watching TV.
If you’ve ever read any of my posts about my brother, you know he was the lynchpin
of our family’s dysfunction having been diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic
several years later.
Our relationship was fraught, erratic and tenuous.
Yet that particular night we were actually having a civil conversation.
I remember lamenting aloud about how much I missed being back at camp.
I debated about just getting in my car and driving the 4 hours back for the
My brother then offered that he’d go with me to see it if I’d like.
A road trip with my 16-year-old brother allowing me to share with him
something that I cherished…could this be a breakthrough for us???
Ode to the mind of a wistful 21-year-old.
Forget consequences, let’s just throw caution to the proverbial wind, shall we…
He had to work at the grocery store, where he’d gotten a part-time summer job,
the following afternoon so I calculated that we could drive up, getting there
in the wee hours of the morning, hang out with my friends having breakfast,
show him the camp and in turn, get him back in time for work.
But wait…. what about our parents?
They were fast asleep.
They were not ones to embrace such impulsive acts.
Nor was I ever the type of kid to do something so daring.
And in hindsight, something so selfish.
Yet throwing caution to the wind, I scribbled a quick note, leaving it on
the kitchen table.
The note promised we’d be back in time for my brother to be at work…
And with that, in the middle of the night, we headed out the door.
The drive and time we spent at camp were quick but truly nice.
And nice was a very rare experience that he and I ever shared.
I found that I actually enjoyed the civil time we shared on the ride.
I explained how I wished it was light enough for him to see the mountains
cresting over the horizon.
It was as if we had bonded over the thrill of the clandestine.
When we got back home, with time to spare for my brother to go to work,
our parents were so incensed, they did not speak to me.
Not a word.
So with no one speaking that afternoon, I opted to go see my grandmother, Nany.
Nany and I were very close.
She had afforded me a great deal all my growing up and I adored her
and our times spent together.
When I walked into her condo, she was sitting in her usual spot in her den
watching the television.
When I entered the room, she turned her back on me.
Never had my grandmother ever shown anything other than generosity, kindness, and love.
Anger and disappointment were each relegated only to parents and not grandparents right?!
All she said was “you should have seen how sad they were when they came
by here after church.”
Under the weight of a very heavy silence, I showed myself out the door.
Yet as it is with life, both time and my actually growing up worked to heal all gaping wounds.
Soon forgotten were both my youthful stupidity and folly as life pressed us all forward.
However, I have never forgotten my grandmother turning her back to me.
That image has remained in the recesses of my memories.
I was crestfallen back then and it still pains me to this day.
It hurts knowing that I hurt her like that.
That I was capable of hurting her so much.
Funny how hurting her was more troubling than how much I had hurt my parents.
I had been thoughtless and selfish—yet are we not so during our youth
as we often learn the hard way by surviving our many mistakes?
We can only pray that we learn and survive those youthful errors and
often self-destructive ways, hoping to go forward, carrying with us the gift of wisdom
rather than the burden of selfishness and recklessness.
I was but 21—Harry, the Duke of Sussex, is a 35-year-old man.
And yet it appears as if Harry is acting more like a selfish child
than that of a grown man. Putting his wants before responsibility.
He continues to hurt his “Granny,” as she is affectionately known by
her grandchildren, with his on-going selfish and reckless actions.
It has been reported that The Queen had asked Harry to wait before making a
public statement regarding his desire for life’s role reversal,
but he ignored her request– going forward anyway.
I cannot presume to understand the complexities of their tangled
relationships but if I could offer one word to Harry, it would be the word of caution.
I would caution Harry to never put his wants above his relationship with his grandmother–
Of which, if we have ever read much about their lives, is one of
closeness and caring.
One day, sooner than later, she will no longer be here as a tangible and physical
part of his life.
I know all too well that he does not want to look back, with her no longer in his life,
with either sorrow or regret for how his actions may have pained her.
And so perhaps there is a lesson here for all of us…
The lesson being that we need to stop before we act.
Stopping to think while considering the lives of those closet to us…
Thinking about them before we boldly opt to march triumphantly forth—
So bold and headstrong that we go marching gallantly forward carrying those
wants and desires of our hearts on silver platters without ever considerating the
thoughts and feelings of those who are dear to us.
Those who are hurt the most by our misguided and self-centered actions.
Selfishness can be a heavy burden.
Be very careful, then, how you live—-
not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity,
because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is