He was not alone. We all had other churches, organizations, and networks we valued that often got in the way of making time for family. Catching up took time. We shared experiences that had shaped us and hammered home enduring principles and values that served us well. Those lessons were honed on the anvil of everyday living on the farms and in our homes.
Alex Haley wrote, "In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future." Gladys was that link for us. Many who turn 100 have lost so many faculties, but Gladys possessed a clarity and a grounded faith that anyone years younger would be proud of. Her personal insights about our family and faith history reminded us of how much our family had shaped our lives and our success.
Gladys certainly might agree with John Adams when he wrote, "The longest liver of you all will find no principles, institutions or systems of education more fit in general to be transmitted to your posterity than those you have received from your ancestors."
Beyond family, Gladys repeatedly gave all the glory to God for the life she has lived. On this coming Independence Day, may we not forget to thank God for this great country, for our many blessings, and for the importance of family in our lives. As for the Paulson Clan, we hope to meet soon to experience the family treasures that only time together can unearth.