"You're going to be a missionary when you grow up."
When I was a girl, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. She and my sister were constant companions for many years because my mom was cleaning teeth as a dental hygienist and my dad was in the fields farming.
After school, I would get dropped off by the school bus at grandma's big yellow house and I was free to watch tv, eat toast with jam, drink warm coca cola and stuff myself with any treats that grandpa had in his "bottom" drawer filled usually with marshmallows coated with extra sugar in the shape of bunnies. I think they were called Peeps and we didn't LOVE them, but the sugar would do.
Anyways, my grandma got it in her head that I was going to be a missionary. She would say this to me in the car, or as an after thought to something I would say. Now, she was not Catholic, she was Methodist. But that didn't matter. For some reason, something about my personality reminded her of the ideal of a missionary. And I think I took that with me through life.
As I got older, I wanted to travel to a place that would fill the emptiness/hole in my heart that I often felt. I felt a call to explore something I didn't know. So I went to Spain and China, and other places. It was good for me to learn about new ways of life. It was good for me to travel and expand.
This idea of being a missionary allowed me to dream of traveling as something possible. I am grateful to my grandma for giving me this idea although I never became a missionary. I never spread the word of any religion, but I did travel to very far away places.
As a girl, those far away places didn't seem like a possibility for me. But with my grandmother's idea, it was able to grow in my head and I made it a reality.
I think that is how I feel about making candles too. I never thought I would do this until the idea came to me from inspiration, a muse, some sort of higher power. It came to me, and I've been trying to make it work.
My grandmother gave me the idea to travel and it took me to very far away places. She was a big part of my life. I think about her everyday and wonder what she would think about this candle business. What kind of advice she would give me. How can I incorporate the essence of being a "missionary" into candle making? A missionary for what? For peace? For kindness? For gratitude? For hanging in there when life is hard?
I think if my grandmother were here today, she would tell me how proud she is of me. Not because I am making tons of money. Because I'm not. Not because I'm rich and famous, because I'm definitely not. But she would be proud of me because I stand up for ideas and beliefs around how I want this world to look and feel and be.
She would be proud because I have tried something outside the box.
She would be proud because I am her granddaughter and that is enough.