Grandmas are the best. At least my grandma was. She died last year after a brief, unexpected illness. Until the day she died, she was full of spirit and was physically fit enough she could touch the floor with the palm of her hands while standing with her legs straight.
I think my grandma is the person I admire most and I am grateful to have spent time with her to get to know her and her stories. So in honor of Mother’s Day this weekend, I’d like to share with you the top three lessons I’ve learned from my grandma:
1. Tell your family you love them. Even though Grandma was 90, her death was still a bit sudden. She had fallen sick only the day before, and then the illness spread rapidly. I had been intending to call Grandma to chat for at least a week before, but things kept getting in the way. Then one evening as I was drifting off to sleep a voice came to me and said, “Call your grandmother, in case something happens.” The next day I called her and we talked briefly, only for about 10-15 minutes. The following morning, my mom called and told me Grandma had died. I’m so happy I called her, because I got to tell her I loved her and hear her laughter one last time. This also taught me a lesson: Tell your family and other people in your life that you love them often. And talk to your family often. You never know when it might be the last time.
2. Don’t work so hard. Grandma told this to my sisters and me frequently. In our last conversation, she again gave me this advice. Grandma was dedicated to her family, so her saying this helped me remember life is more than work. Life is also about spending time with family and friends, enjoying a special hobby, and having fun.
3. Even if bad things happen, you can still have a positive attitude. My grandma lost two husbands. The first time, she became a single mother and had to find a job to support her family. The second time (after many happy years together) she watched her second husband slowly get weaker due to cancer. With these and other hardships she experienced in her life, it would have been easy for her to be bitter. Instead, she chose to embrace life and to have a positive attitude. In her final years, she often told us how blessed she felt to have had two great loves of her life and wonderful children and grandchildren who made her proud.
(Reposted from Dana’s Creative Services.)
ABOUT DANA MCCULLOUGH
Dana McCullough is a freelance writer and editor who frequently writes, edits, copy-edits, and proofreads content for magazines, blogs, websites, books, and more. She is the owner of Dana’s Creative Services.