I found these old autograph books of hers in the "hope chest" in the far corner of the attic. Out of curiosity I opened them and read the sentiments written by her sixth grade friends, many years ago, 1945 to be exact. Somewhat silly the writings were, and in varying styles of penmanship. But, one stood out with it's beautifully styled handwriting and a valuable message, that is as pertinent today as it was back then. It was written by her sixth grade teacher, at the little elementary school down the main street from where she lived.
It was addressed to her personally by this teacher. And, in case you cannot read the poorly photographed copy above, it states the following;
"If wisdom's ways you'd wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
Of whom you speak,
To whom you speak,
And, how, and when, and where."
What perfectly shared advice for a precious sixth grade girl back then, and for her fifty some year old daughter today.
Words...so powerful, and they can last a lifetime. I thought about those sentiments that the sixth graders shared with each other back then, and I wondered what would they write to each other today, if they still did "autograph books?"
I was reading a book in the last few weeks titled,"Stories For A Woman's Heart." In it I read a short piece that I want to take to heart. It is "A Prayer For Those Growing Older" ~author unknown
Lord, Thou knowest that I am growing older.
Keep me from growing talkative and possessed with the idea that I must express myself on every subject.
Release me from the craving to straighten out everyone's affairs.
Keep me from the recital of endless details. Give me wings to get to the point.
Seal my lips when I am inclined to tell of my aches and pains. They are increasing with the years and my love to speak of them grows sweeter as time goes by.
Make me thoughtful but not nosey; helpful but not bossy.
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.
With my vast store of wisdom and experience, it does seem a pity not to use it all. But thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends in the end."