My amazing and brave Grandma flew across the country to visit me on Thanksgiving this year. You see, she is very wise and way more perceptive than I ever give her credit for. My Dad rarely missed having Thanksgiving with us, and this is the first Thanksgiving since he passed away. I didn’t have to ask Grandma to come, it was her idea and we had a fantastic visit! She was full of life and stories.
Over this last weekend, my Grandma had to be checked into the hospital. She has pneumonia and is dehydrated and weak. My Aunt is confident she will get better, and we are all praying she will.
The idea of the post had been bouncing in my head for a few weeks, reflecting on our visit and how much I owe to this amazing woman. It is hard to be so far away at times like these.
Here are 10 life lessons, my Grandma has shared with me so far.
- Be active and enjoy life. My Grandmother was the fastest runner at her school, she curled, bowled and spent her entire life active.
- Family matters. When faced with being a single parent overwhelmed my Dad, my Grandmother rode a bus for days across two provinces, picked me up and rode back. I was only a toddler, scared and sad. She raised me for years afterward. When no one else could, my Grandmother loved me.
- You are never too old to learn something new. After my Grandfather passed away, my Grandma got herself a computer and learned the basics of email. Now she reads my blog and has played THOUSANDS of games of computer Scrabble.
- Be brave. At 93, my Grandma hopped on a plane and flew from Regina, SK to Halifax, NS all on her own. That is so brave. I am so proud of her and I want to be as brave as she is when I grow up!
- Be adventurous. When my Grandpa was alive they went on adventures with my Aunt Carol. Then with my Dad, my grandmother would come see us in Ontario, California and now has been to Nova Scotia three times to visit.
- Forgive and let it go. It wasn’t until the last few years I really opened up to my Grandma about my Dad’s struggles with alcohol. She was so gracious and encouraged forgiveness and yet also encouraged me to do what I had to do to prevent further hurts.
- If you don’t like what someone has to say, smile and do your own thing. My Grandma, often spoke of her Mother-in-law and all the advice that she would share (My Great Grandma had 13 kids, she knew a lot!) Yet my Grandma had her own ideas, though she never argued, she just did her own thing.
- Friendships matter. Although my Grandma has experienced a lot of losses, many of her friends have passed away, she still has many friends she talks to on a regular basis. Some people are past neighbours from the town where she raised her family, or in the city they retired in. My Grandma tells stories of the many escapades her and the girls in the town would get into over the years, giggling like a school girl. She remembers them all.
- Cook it from scratch. My Grandma still cooks her own meals and they are so yummy! We use her recipe for turkey and stuffing. Seriously. Yum!
- It is not where you came from that matters, or where you are going so much. What matters is what you have right now. My Grandma lost her mom and sister at a young age and even a young child, yet she did so much and had this amazing family. She always would remind me to appreciate what I had.
My Grandma has lived an amazing life so far. I am so proud of her. I am praying she will recover from this swiftly. I am so grateful she was brave, adventurous and so full of love to share with us. Love you Grandma xoxox