Friday, July 8, 2016

Wisdom From the Living

My grandma died last week. She was 87, and had dealt with dementia for the past two years. It was her time, and she was a happy woman when she passed away.

Every time anything like this happens, I remember an article that was passed around this newfound "internet" back when Erma Bombeck was alive and writing. I remember forwarding this to some of my friends and family (remember when we had to forward stuff like this through email instead of just sharing it on Facebook?).

I remember my other grandma responded to everyone instead of responding just to me, "How true this is."

I immediately sent everyone else I had forwarded this message to a response saying, "Sorry about that! Obviously my grandma doesn't understand the difference between 'Reply All' and 'Reply'."

While I still remember doing that, I now regret it. I'm sure my message was received the way it was admittely intended: "Please ignore my obviously ignorant grandma! Poor lady! She doesn't understand these newfangled computers!"

What I understood soon after is that maybe she did understand what she was doing. She probably didn't care what anyone thought. She probably wanted everyone to know just how true it really is from the perspective of someone who is older. Too old, in fact, to worry about what other people think.

I share it here now, hoping that everyone gets how true it is before it's too late.

(written after she found out she was dying from cancer).

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, 'Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.' There would have been more 'I love you's'. More 'I'm sorry's.'

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute, look at it and really see it .. live it and never give it back. STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF!!!

Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.


Jenny Andrews said...

Erma Bombeck was a very smart lady as I'm sure so was your Grandmother. Its hard to lose the ones we love. Memories in your heart will live on.

Also want to wish you a very happy birthday from the Andrews family. July is a very popular month. We have 3 July birthdays in our family too.

Enjoy your special day.

Jeff said...

Agreed on all counts.

Speaking of the Andrews family, I hope to have another one this year. Your family is too good to see go so fast.

Jenny Andrews said...

We have our fingers crossed for the 2016-2017 year!