True Grit

john-wayne-true-gritTrue Grit is a 1968 novel written by Charles Portis, published in 1968 that served as the basis for the movie of the same name starring John Wayne, the one-eyed Rooster Cogburn who accompanies a young girl in search of the man who killed her father. The latest version of the True Grit movie stars Jeff Bridges.

True grit is also a quality my mother-in-law exhibits, especially in the aftermath of a recent ironic, life-altering tragedy.

After returning safely from a ten day Caribbean cruise, which included a trip through the Panama Canal and numerous wheel chair excursions onto various islands, my 94 yr. old mother-in-law fell at home and broke her hip.

Like a champion, she endured the pain that she encountered from the operating room to the rehab center. Not once did she utter a whimper of self-pity. The only thing she requested during her hospital and rehab stay was a constant influx of chocolate.

While the rest of the family frets about her future, this daring diva is planning a trip out West in April. She told my brother-in-law to ┬álocate an all terrain wheelchair that she can rent for the trip. Yes, I’m serious.

One week and a few days after her accident, the doctors decided my mother-in-law could return home ahead of schedule. On her return home, the family gathered for a doozy of a welcome home/birthday party. We are all thankful for our happy ending.

After such an ordeal, you might expect the tiny matriarch (she weighs in at almost ninety lbs. soaking wet), to be frail of spirit, but this is far from reality. The ex-sunday school teacher, WWII survivor, mother of two boys, grandmother of four girls, and great-grandmother of five (a mixed gender bag) blazes forward with TRUE GRIT!

Vi Probus 94 birthdaySome say your genes determine your longevity. Maybe, but, my mother-in-law also possesses a few other things that I think carry her through life. She has the adventurous spirit of a pioneer women, an unflappable positive attitude that inspires future generations, and a zeal for life. I have to wonder if one’s outlook on life isn’t as or more important than one’s genes. Mind over matter? Thoughts? Make a wish!


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  • "This book would capture the imagination of upper elementary age through adult readers." - Janie (Amazon verified review)