Whenever I picture my Grandmother Dora in my mind – she is always laughing.
She had the most wonderful laugh, so warm, full-bodied and inviting! And her eyes always laughed along too.
That doesn’t mean she didn’t have hardships or experience grief – she certainly did, but her disposition was never marked by it. At least not until the very end.
She died tonight. It was expected and even welcome for her to finally have peace.
But this got me thinking; What are some of the life-lessons my dear Grandmother left me with and inspire in me.
The time is NOW!
I KNOW my grandmother loved to travel. Sadly she didn’t get to do much of it in her life, but the few times she did travel meant very much to her.
When I had just finished college I wanted to take some time off to travel the world. My parents thought it was a silly idea, and prompted me to study on – afraid that my little break might disrupt my study-plans
(It did – but that’s another story…)
My grandmother and grandfather came over for my graduation and as they handed me my present (an envelope of cash), she pulled me aside. What she said to me that day has stuck with me all my life;
Take every chance you get in life – because somethings only happen ONCE!
I packed my bags and traveled the world and I learned SO much! I was an entirely different person when I came home.
It is to this day, one of the best experiences of my life.
Be frugal, not cheap!
Whenever I was at my grandparents, we were always a lot of people together. BUT there was always room for everyone and everyone was invited! They weren’t the wealthiest of people, but they were never cheap and there was always plenty of food & drink for everyone.
They were never showy or arrogant, but loved simple and frugal living. And best of all: Everyone was welcome. It didn’t matter if one or two more showed up.
We have adopted this in our household. We prefer to eat meals with all and any of our friends and try to be frugal with our food vs. dining on steak/champagne alone every night!
Company just means much more and somehow the food just tastes better this way!
Things mean nothing without a “story”
My grandmother had all her mantles and shelves full of items, knick-knacks and figurines, and every single one had a story and a meaning! Most of them were presents from her children & grandchildren – some even homemade from my kindergarden-days!!
In this day and age where designer goods fill our homes, I find this so heartwarming. And I never thought much about it before now – but I actually have the same exact mentality to items in our house. I will only keep things, if there is a personal feeling, experience or story behind it.
Things are just things – I want to fill my home and life with great memories…
Don’t miss the big picture
During our infertility struggle and even some time after, when we had given up, my grandmother nudged me a couple of times. I was heartbroken that I could never become a mother, but she told me: “What are you talking about?! You already are a mother…”
At the time I didn’t understand her and simply dismissed her. But she was right.
I was so busy with labeling myself as an infertile woman, that I didn’t actually see, that I already was a kind of mother. There was so much mothering instinct in me and I spent so much time with my wonderful step-kids, that I was a mother figure for them!
I see now what she meant. I couldn’t see the forest because of the trees in front of me.
There will be things in life that you will miss or have to live without. But try not to let it fill your life. Be thankful for all that you do have!
There is never enough time…
I am sure I could have learned much more from her, if we could have had more time.
The last lesson she taught me was simply;
Life is short! Don’t miss opportunities to spend time with those you love. It’s all that matters.
What life-lesson did your grandparents teach you?
All my best,