• 34°

Value of Grandma’s charity

The Christmas season has come and gone and I have to admit that it was not the same this year.

That’s because, this past September, my grandmother passed away.

My heart’s still broken and as the holidays approached, it began to ache even more.

I have never known a Christmas without her. As I sat there watching my children open their gifts and seeing the smiles on their faces, my mind began to think back to when I was a kid opening gifts at Grandma’s house.

Grandma grew up in the backwoods of Louisa, Kentucky in terribly poor conditions.

I remember her telling me that there were years where Christmas would come and go and she and her siblings wouldn’t even know.

No presents, no cards, just another day went by.

I know that seems horrible today, but she said, “I had my family, that’s all I needed.”

She loved her family. The greatest gift she could ever receive was being with her family.

I learned so much from her, but one of the things she taught me has been something I have tried to live by.

She once told me, “Charity starts at home.’’

Now, on its surface, that quote seems self-serving and would go against the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self,” but it doesn’t contradict it at all.

In the Christian faith, the word “charity” is defined as “The greatest manifestation of love,” so, when Grandma told me that charity starts at home, she was teaching me that love starts with me.

In order for me to show charity/love to others, I must first love myself. I must first take care of myself before I can effectively take care of others.

Love has no supply limits. It knows no bounds and can be offered to anyone, from anyone and it starts with us.

I will never forget the lessons Grandma taught me and though she is gone, her legacy will live on through her family and the lives she touched throughout her lifetime.

— Dedicated to my grandmother, Fannie Davis.

Thank you for your wisdom, your time and your love.

Nathan Davis is president of the Ironton Rotary Club.