The Meaning of Life

This is but one installment of Grandmother Julie’s

 responses to Granddaughter MacKenzie Orchowski’s series of questions from ‘Storyworth’

The Meaning of Life

By Julie Anne Chitwood

The meaning of life for me is being surrounded by loved ones.

My parents brought me up that what counts in someone is their character – not race, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, etc. I have tried to follow that all my life. And I’ve been lucky to have wonderful family and friends. And, like quite a few of our tribe, I have met a lot of people that have added to my life – sometimes just a moment of time by a smile or a quick hello in passing.

Another rule of life drilled into me from the beginning is that we are responsible for the critters in our life. Seeing to their needs and wants always comes first. You do not sit down to dinner until their bowls have been filled. Baby Cat used to sit on my Mom’s lap and the family would have to wait on Mom so that Baby Cat was not disturbed! It was funny watching Dad jump up to refill Mom’s coffee cup so that the cat did not lose her comfortable ‘lap’.

One time I was talking to Butch McBride and he recounted when he had destroyed a cactus on a picnic when he was a young kid. He said my Dad just looked at him and shook his head and in his low voice that he used when you were in trouble commented, ‘Butch, I’m so disappointed in you’. Butch said he even had problems killing weeds after that. The earth was to be respected. That wasn’t a big deal – no bragging rights – you simply picked up after yourself. And in Arizona you sure watched where you walked and placed your hands and feet. Snakes, Gila Monsters, critters, had first rights as we were visiting their home ground. One time in Kentucky Shelley had me remove a spider that she didn’t want to share the bathroom with but also didn’t want to be the cause of it’s death.

Another fact of life drilled into me was to give people the benefit of the doubt, as it was impossible to know what bad moments they were going through. I’ve watched our tribe follow this as they are not quick to judge. More likely to give an understanding smile than taking offence. And it is amazing what a smile can accomplish. I’ve been with Robin when we’ve passed someone and she had commented to them what a pretty dress they are wearing or stunning hair. The person will first show surprise and then a smile will cross their face – their day just got better.

Small things add up to big things. The challenge is to make those good things rather than downers.

A child giving you their trust as they hold up their arms. An animal showing you their belly, knowing you won’t hurt them. A friend being able to unload, sure that you will not betray their trust. Your mate is always sure that you have their back.

The gift of laughter and love. For me those are all the meaning of life.

Your loving Grandmother,

Julie Anne (Gehrandt) Chitwood

PS: How life NOT be a GIFT with this little fellow and wonderful parents?


Proud Grandparents AND Great Grandparent

Meet Owen Orchowski – YES! He is and will be FAMOUS!
Great Grandma Chitwood (Quite a few months back!)
Beautiful Proud Mom, MacKenzie!
Pretty Mom and Owen Shopping!
Proud Grandpa Craig and Owen!
Owen with Uncle Dixon!
Meet Owen’s Mom and Dad: Tyler & MacKenzie Orchowski

Sorry for quality of image BUT they are all beautiful!!! Take my word!


Author: Website: - B R Chitwood - My Mission: Writing to Discover Me

I'm a young man in an old man's body, trying to catch up to myself, trying to find pieces of me I left back in a disconnected youth and the early years of manhood. I'm a stereotype of many in my generation who can play the 'blame game', yell 'foul', and 'let's start over'. But, we are what we are, the sum of all the scary kid-emotions we experienced, the gin mills and piano bars that became our sandboxes of pleasure - lotus eaters of the best (or, worst) kind, the love affairs that did not quite settle us down, the sad poetry and songs written in bars and motels along the way... A Dreamer! A Wanderlust! The world needs such fools as we to write our books, our poetry, our songs, to offset the madness that plagues the soul. I've written fourteen books, over three hundred blog posts, in search of those pieces left somewhere in many parts of the globe. You can preview my books on the next page. There's even a Blog page...all my posts are not showing on this recently created blog page, but, if you want to read more, go to my official blog site and check out the archives: http://www.thefinalcurtain1 Writing for me is therapy for the soul. Website:

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