My grandmom is turning 80 years old today.

I was asked to choose a few words to best describe my grandmother. I’ve thought about it all week. I’ve dealt with head-pounding, finger-tightening writers block for which there is no pill, no cure. How do you take 80 years (or in her case, “Turning 29 for the 51st time” and choose just a few words to describe a life? How could I choose any fanciful adjective or alluring noun or even strong, descriptive verb to encapsulate such a life?

I couldn’t.

So instead, I made up some words.

  1. Hyperprovisionality
    1. Part of speech: Noun
    2. Origin: hyper (over, extra) + provision + duality
    3. Sentence: Gram displayed hyperprovisionality as she lovingly and ceaselessly cared and provided for her family.
    4. Explanation: My Gram has worked as a nurse, a teacher, a swimming instructor, an insurance agent, a business owner, an artist, a photographer, and a full time mom. And many of these jobs were performed at the same time (hence the duality portion of the word!) She always kept a positive attitude even as she put in more hours. Her three kids had homemade clothes, home cooked meals, and home-cut hair. She was a single mom, determined to make ends meet and developed incredible hyperprovisionality through the process.
  1. Audaturous
    1. Part of speech: Adjective
    2. Origin: Audacious + Adventurous
    3. Sentence: Gram’s spirit knew no bounds, it was audaturous, exciting, and daring.
    4. Explanation: My grandmother has visited more countries than I can count. She has a wall of adventure in her house where she is pictured golfing with celebrities, straddling a camel, swimming with dolphins, and holding an adult bengal tiger. She had walked along the same paths as the Apostle Paul, rafted down the Colorado river, and even once shared her bed with a cheeky octopus. She waited until she was in her 70’s to become a missionary and has “roughed it” in ways that would put teenagers to shame. She is both audacious and adventurous for God and others.
  1. Creatiful
    1. Part of speech: Adjective
    2. Origin: Creative + Playful
    3. Sentence: Gram’s cards are so beautiful, unique, and striking. She is one creatiful gal!
    4. Explanation: My Gram once told me, “If you can’t laugh at life, it’s gonna be no fun living it!” She has lived up to this adage. Throughout her life, in times and trips that have gone smoothly and in those that haven’t, she has maintained poise and humor, never taking herself too seriously. One way this expresses itself is in her artistic and crafty side. She makes cards, takes photos, and enjoys making gifts just as much as giving them. She is playful in her creations and in her personality, never hesitating to engage with kids, teach Sunday School, and play. She is very creatiful, which is a beautiful trait!
  1. Matriargacy
    1. Part of speech: Noun
    2. Origin: Matriarch + Legacy
    3. Sentence: A Matriargacy is only achievable through a long, well-lived, love-filled life.
    4. Explanation: My Gram is a matriarch. She is the pinnacle of our family pyramid. Her name, Elizabeth, weaves through our family generations like a braid, each namesake reflecting her heart. She keeps up with every family member, never missing a birthday or graduation. She continues to be present in our lives, homes, weddings, baby dedications, holidays, and hearts. Her provision, adventurousness, audacity, creativity, playfulness, and most of all, love, leave a legacy for us all to marvel at. She truly is something amazing and has run, and continues to run, the good race of faith.

Happy 80th Birthday, Gram! Thanks for being so rad that I had to make up words to describe you!

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