I can’t imagine Grandpa Betts on Twitter. It didn’t exist when he was alive, but I’m confident he wouldn’t have an account. I never heard him talk about the president or give an opinion on news stories. His days were spent working the farm, his nights surrounded by family, and his weekends on a lake with a fishing pole and tackle box.
If he could see me scrolling through Twitter, he’d say something like, “Might as well go pull some weeds if you’ve got time to waste on that.” He’d be right—of course.
I hear him now and then. It makes me sad, but I can’t stop listening for his voice. There’s comfort in the sadness it brings.
Given the opportunity, I’m not sure how I’d get Grandpa to comprehend how Twitter came up big for me this week. It’s a platform I typically utilize to amplify negativity. However, I found grace in that pit of torment that I’d like to share with you.
Last week in this column, I asked who’s been an influential teacher in your life. Who’s your Henry (my two-year-old son who’s a master teacher of love)? I’m glad I asked because your responses were so beautiful.
With permission, I’m publishing two of the responses I received at the bottom of this newsletter. At least one of these came through Twitter, which makes me grateful I have an account even though Grandpa wouldn’t understand.
This week, I’d like to have a conversation about the person you’d want to come over if the world was ending. I listened to the JP Saxe and Julia Michaels song for the first time while writing this newsletter (I know I’m way late to it and I suck). It’s a beautiful song, and led to me writing quite the treatise on the subject that I’ll publish in my next newsletter.
Oh, and I’m giving away the item of your choice from The Beehive Store to the first five people to respond.
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Thank you for being my friend.
I’d like to tell you about my boyfriend, Matt. Not ENTIRELY just because I want a free Cotopaxi Fanny pack, (which would be amazing to take trail running during the summertime) but because I actually really enjoy telling anyone who will listen about him.
Matt is my Henry. Matt is my main source of inspiration and joy. He is the most unapologetically himself, person, I’ve ever known. He walks around Costco whistling and singing whatever song is currently stuck in his head. He gets overly excited about EVERYTHING.
He wakes up in the morning and says THANK YOU out loud to the sun for shining. He radiates genuine happiness and love. We’ve seen each other nearly every day for the last 4 years and he still lights up when I walk into the room. He lights up as soon as anyone he loves walks into the room. He is the definition of fun. You can’t picture Matt without picturing a giant smile on his face. He has somehow learned not to take life too seriously, despite the trials he’s faced.
He works every day to be better. Just when I think he couldn’t possibly come up with more things to find joy in, he does. Just when I think he couldn’t possibly show me more patience or kindness, he proves me wrong.
His desire to live a life full of happiness is the driving force behind everything he does. If I could sum it up in one sentence I would say this; it feels like Matt knows something that the rest of us don’t, and I think it’s that he knows how to genuinely love.
- Taryn Hewlett
I had an 84-year-old piano teacher. She was such an amazing teacher not only by my side at the piano but in the way she lived her life.
I watched her visit her husband every day in the nursing home for 7 years. Though half blind and arthritic, she would drive there every day to spend time with him. I watched her learn a difficult piano piece and perform in church at the nursing home during her last days.
She even had her upright piano brought out of the basement of her old house and into her room. She told me she would put in two hours a day even with limited eyesight and crippling arthritis.
I even remember her teaching me while she was a resident in a rehab center. I would wheel her out from her room and she would sit in her wheelchair by the piano and teach me. She taught me to never give anything less than my best.
Throughout my life, in the times when I feel like I want to give up, I keep pushing. I keep pushing because of Margaret. And every time I sit down at the piano to play a hard piece, I hear her voice in my ears saying "count like mad" and reminding me to slow down and get every note right. The lessons she taught me live with me.
She said she'd haunt me if I don't practice, and I'm blessed to feel her presence in the very best way.
- Jake Hansen