My grandmother passed away. It was not completely unexpected since she was 91 years young, but it was difficult. I was close, in proximity and affection, to my grandparents. I was lucky enough to live in the same town as all but one of my grandparents for some of my childhood. For a while, I lived in the same house with one set. I spent more time with my grandparents than some kids get to in a lifetime. I was taught how to play dominoes, how to pick peas and other vegetables, churn butter, sew, and countless other things that we as a society do not teach our children about anymore. The good ole days were lived by my elders and they made sure to pass it along to the children. They also passed down wisdom such as if it is broken fix it, if it isn’t don’t. Invest in quality that lasts. Don’t worry so much. Above all things love people. I could keep going. I will save some of that sage advice for later.
This week I had my grandmother’s ring sized to fit my finger and I was shocked at how much my hands look like her hands.
Grandparents teach us lessons about life and love. They pass on family history and stories. We do not always consider that we are a product of their lives just as much if not more so than a product of what we choose in life to be.
I am a mother and a grandmother now. I focus on sharing my history with the children in my life as my grandparents did for me. As much as I can anyway. I am not so lucky now. My grandchildren live in Taxes and I am in Florida. One time my grandson and I were talking. I was packing up before I had to leave from a visit to Texas to travel home. He was about 3 or 4 years old. It went something like this.
Him: “Nan Nan will I see you tomorrow?”
Me: “No, I will be back in Florida at my house tomorrow and that is far far away.”
Him: “I hate far far away.”
Me: “ I hate it too.”
He is now a teenager and we still hate far far away.
As I reflect on my family and how it has changed over the years I realize it isn’t only the distance that I hate but the fast escaping time as well. We are all moving along on this planet and living life as time keeps speeding past us in a blur of birthdays, deaths and milestones. My children and grandchildren are going to be the adults with children of their own soon and I will be the elderly member of the family.
I am not ready for that. I am nowhere near ready to concede the role of an old person. I may be on the downhill slide of my life and my hands may have started showing my age but I refuse to be the matriarch. Someone else needs to step up and take that role. It will not be me.
I have mountains to climb, roller coasters to ride, books to write, countries to visit, books to read, children to play with, lessons to learn and teach. I have many adventures to take before I settle down in my rocking chair. I have far far away to travel and that is a long way to go.