“Jine and Sue,” Fanny said one day, “I don’t want to hears you say it no mo.’ Not one mo’ time,” she said sternly.“What?” Jan (my sister) or (Jine, as Fanny called her), and I inquired, “ What were we saying? We aren’t doing anything wrong.”
“You is makin’ promises and sayin’ ‘Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die.’ Dats da worstest,” Fanny said shaking her head, “whoever made up dat sayin’ has gots it all wrong!”
Remember using that expression when you were a kid? Whoever came up with that lousy expression anyway? Researchers have learned so much about the effects of positive spirit on health. http://mayocl.in/1iigiNw.
Although I know I did say “Cross my heart and hope to die” plenty of times in my childhood when making a promise, I certainly didn’t understand the meaning of it as a youngster. One thing I knew for sure, even though I never understood the magnitude of my childhood illness, is that I didn’t want to die! I had too many other things going for me- a menagerie of animals, a sister, two brothers, parents and friends who I knew cared for me. And what about my beautiful grandparents and my funny Fanny? I didn’t want to leave any of them behind!
I think rather then taking prayer out of schools, and eliminating “The Pledge of Alliance to the Flag, Under God” from classrooms, “Hope to Die” needs to be eliminated from all children’s vocabulary when making promises. Children need to know “Cross Your Heart,” plain and simple, works much better.
Fanny always said, “If you thinks yo’ life is bad, go poke ’round in someone else’s for a little while! Dare is always someone on dis Earf who ain’t got what you gots. Be grateful.”
As an adult, I know Fanny was right. In her own funny way she was trying to get my sister and me to realize that living well means having appreciation for all that we have been given, including choosing life.
Wondering more about what my funny Fanny said about living? You’ll have to read my memoir. I have had many people contact me since my memoir “Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected”, was published who said “they wished they had someone in their lives who lived with such heart and soul when they were growing up.” Sue’s memoir