A life of influence

Well friends I have to tell you about a fabulous little city that has changed so much in the last ten years. Randy and I lived in Greenville, SC for about 7 years. Four for college and then three as a young married couple. It was always a great town but they have revitalized Greenville and it’s simply amazing now. If you’re close to Greenville it would be a trip worth taking.

My sister and Mom were at a wedding recently in Greenville and they too caught on to how awesome it is and so that became our celebration spot for my Mom’s 80th birthday.

Our time started out at Falls Cottage for lunch – a quaint little place that gave a beautiful view of Reedy River.

And then we went to a favorite shop called Twigs that has home accessories and floral arrangements as well as fresh flowers.

Mom had no idea what to expect of this birthday weekend getaway. My sister and I planned it out but wanted to surprise our Mom with many of the details. It was so much fun!!

So our next stop was our hotel which was the Westin Poinsett Hotel downtown. Little did Mom know that fresh flowers were awaiting her from one of her dear friends from our childhood neighborhood. She also got to FaceTime with her.

I know she’s my Mom but seriously – doesn’t she look great? And especially for 80!

Our next surprise for Mom was giving her a little book that many of her family and friends help put together. It was titled “A Life of Influence” and it’s pages were filled with personal stories and memories from about 50 friends and family.

Memories were shared of Mom (and often my Dad before he passed) sharing the Gospel, opening their home to guests, riding a motorcycle at age 73, taking Grandkids to Krispy Kreme downtown Atlanta in the middle of the night, Waffle House runs, Swan House trips, dressing up and fooling their entire Sunday School class at a dinner party, loaning her white Cadilac for a teen neighbor to take a girl out on a date and so much more.

She read some of the entries out loud and we laughed and reminisced and had a great time together. It’s a wonderful little treasure for her to have and we were so appreciative of everyone that took part in it. The common thread was that Mom had a big influence on a lot of people. I don’t think she realized just how much of an impact she has had on people. It was a true gift to see her enjoy such a sweet compilation of thoughts.

Then we went to Hall’s Chop House and had a wonderful dinner together. Mom loves a good restaurant and this was a wonderful one with a great view.

And then we went back to our fabulous little hotel that was built in 1925 but renovated by Westin just last year. It was beautiful and Mom loved it. We sat in the piano lounge and listened to live piano. My sister gave her a special photo book she made of all our family vacations to Destin, Fla over the last 18 years. So we listened to music and Mom loved seeing all the pictures put together in one place of our times at the beach. It was also a wonderful treasure of great memories.

Well at about 10pm my sister and I were exhausted and Mom had just gotten her second wind. I stood up to go upstairs to our room and Mom just kept sitting there. It was clear she wasn’t going anywhere. She was enjoying the atmosphere and didn’t want to leave. Eventually we strongly encourage her to go to bed! LOL. She probably would’ve gone out at midnight for a cup of coffee somewhere if we would’ve let her. She’s still got that “let’s go!” spirit inside of her.

We woke up the next morning and had a special time of prayer for Mom. And then asked her what advice she would give to anyone after having lived for 80 years. Here’s what she said:

Then we hit a few shops and ate lunch at a Trio, another fabulous little lunch spot downtown. And then we parted our ways. I headed back to NC and they went home to GA.

Such a special trip together.

And a big thanks to my man who graciously kept the kids and even fed them while I was gone.