This is just a deck of playing cards – nothing fancy, no grandiose logos, not expensive. But this deck of cards tells a story that’s special.


See, my grandmother was my closest friend throughout my childhood. We affectionately dubbed her Genana, and she was the single-most influential person in my young life.


We spent umpteen hours together, and Genana shared her favorite past-times with me. One was putting puzzles together which provided me with a sense of accomplishment; another was acquiring knowledge through the love of reading; yet another was teaching me how to bait a hook, reel in a fish, then take it off the hook – all big fun for me.


But the “bestest” memory is the one with tremendous lasting effects. Genana taught me life lessons with a deck of cards. A couple of those include:


Patience – After numerous failures, I was finally coordinated enough to “build a house” with a deck of cards, just to enjoy letting it fall then doing it over and over again, until they were shuffled – for sure, timing and effort play huge roles in success.


Concentration –I loved choosing the matching pairs as the entire deck of cards was placed individually face-down on the dining room table – this taught me the ability to actually “think” and learn how thinking provides a means to an end.


Perseverance – Genana enjoyed playing cards, and she was an exceptional card player. No matter what the game was, she seemed to have mastered it. And she never once let me win. When I could finally beat her at any card game, I knew I had truly been the best player – not a sense of entitlement but instead, a healthy dose of accomplishment.


To learn these life lessons takes precious time and dedicated devotion to your cause. No doubt, I am who I am today because, luckily for me, my Genana believed that teaching me to handle life’s deck of cards was worth both her time and devotion.