3 Lessons from my Grandmother

 

Today was supposed to be about the wonders of watermelon, especially how it acts as nature’s Viagra.  For real.

However, that will have to wait.

 

My trio of Angels is complete.  My Mom, my Nanny, and now my grandmother Lee just passed away last week.  

And my only son/oldest child is starting high school on the same day as her memorial service.

 

The circle of life.

 

I was doing fine until I had to explain to my husband, who was taking him to school, that to drop our son off he would need to drive through the same parking lot where we taught him to ride a bike.

(Sound of screeching bike tires…) What??  Wasn’t that yesterday?  The picture of him riding a bike as a 5-year-old through that parking lot where he was walking today as an almost-man who is taller than me with a deep voice and man hair, would not leave my mind.

As the instructions to my husband left my mouth, my heart sank and I crumbled.

I had no idea this would have such an effect.  I have felt nothing but excitement for this next chapter in his (our) life.

Coupled with thoughts of my dear 94-year-old grandmother, it was hard to keep my dizzying emotions in check.  An abundance of emotion.  So I gave in.  

Sometimes, that’s just what happens.  Not going to analyze.  Not going to restrain or resist.  Not going to force sad thoughts to stay in the sadness.  Nor try and only think of happy thoughts to force happiness.  

Love what is.  If tears come, they come.  If there is joy, there is joy.

Death.  Life.  Circles.  Next Chapters.  Progression.  Experience.  (heavy sigh)

 

I. Am. Grateful.

 

All of this got me thinking...if my Grandmother could give my son 3 pieces of advice for his next chapter, (I believe) this is what they would be:

 

 1.  Always be honest with yourself.  

My sister asked my grandmother a few weeks ago, if she had one piece of advice for life, what it would be.  That was her answer.  You can’t be honest with others, if you can’t be honest with yourself.  And complete honesty with yourself is one of the most difficult things to do.  We love to keep ourselves in the story of the day to create drama.  That drama creates feelings which let us know we are alive.  If we are honest and let go of the stories, we feel true freedom and aliveness.

 

2.  Never give up.

This was a woman who did not give up.  Even after falling, breaking her leg, bouts of pneumonia and countless other illnesses (and Parkinson’s),

she did not EVER give up.  

She made a choice to leave when the time was right, and not a minute earlier.  

 

3.  Love is what remains.

 

We spend our whole lives trying to expand what we HAVE instead of who we ARE

 

And ultimately, as we age, our lives become smaller.  We lose friends, family, abilities, independence.  Our surroundings become smaller…in her case, down to one room.  Our sight dims.  Our hearing fades.  

But what grows exponentially is our capacity for love.  So as the material trappings of the world fall away, the only thing that is REAL remains. 

Love.

That is all.  That is life.  Beauty.  And when our bodies no longer serve a purpose, Love remains.  And we are free, we are everywhere.  In life.  We are life.  Every flower, bird, feather, baby’s smile, belly laugh, and rainstorm, we are there.

 

So as we all embark on new chapters in the journey I am grateful for my Trio:  The Creative, The Heart and The Spirit.  I will be calling on you and will need your strength and many gifts.  Especially with the one entering high school.  Gasp.

 

We have some great work to do in this world.  The next generation serving as our mirrors and reflections.

I promise to smell every flower along the path with a deep inhale and a wink.

 

It’s time to dance with life…carry on.