This is re-post from last year which I removed to honor an uncle’s request, but it needs to said. I love you grandpa!
Tonight I said ‘goodbye’ to my grandparents for, what I believe is, the last time. My grandmother has burnt has last bridge with my parents and my grandparents will be leaving tomorrow to live on the east coast. They will be living with their last child.
My grandmother has a long and sordid history of alienating and/or disowning one or all of her four children. It’s a sad thing when the strongest memories I have of my grandmother are negative ones. It’s a sad thing to watch a woman at the end of her life make the same prideful mistakes she made before you were even born. A lifetime of illness and fragile health brought about from resentment and a hardened heart. How can a mother disown a daughter who left her family and business in distress to ‘rescue’ her – move her lock, stock, and barrel into her own home sacrificing her own family to care for her parents? I don’t understand it, but I watched it happen. In thinking about my grandmother, I have chalked her up to one of life’s lessons – one I need to learn from. So what can I learn from my grandmother’s lifetime of selfishness and self pity? OH, Let me count the ways!
1) Grow up. Mature with age and gain wisdom as you go. There’s nothing less attractive than an 80 year old woman with the emotional maturity of a junior higher.
2) Learn from your mistakes. Life may be a spiral, but every time you come around again, the hurdles should be easier.
3) Age gracefully. Bitterness poisons you from the inside out. If you want to live a long and healthy life – live a happy life not storing up offenses and spewing at those around you.
4) Be real. Life is to short to fake your way through it. Life should never be about putting on a smiling face and pretending the ugliness of the night before never happened.
5) Give without the expectation of receiving. Give for the joy of giving not the satisfaction of being recognized. No one should feel guilty for not writing a thank you note.
6) Love without conditions. What do you have to cling to at the end of your life, but the relationships you’ve built throughout the course of it? Destroy them and you will be a sad, bitter, lonely old woman with nothing but your pride to cling to.
My greatest hope is to not carry these lessons through to my kids. I have enough to learn from in my life without repeating the mistakes of my ancestors.
THIS IS MY PRAYER . . .
May my pride not blind me to my own shortcomings.
May I have the grace to admit when I am wrong, the humility to make amends
and the desire to do better.
May I remember that all we have take from this world into the next are the
relationships we cultivate.
May my desire for control not control me.
May I love unconditionally, give without hesitation, and live joyfully.
GROW up and LEARN from your mistakes, AGE gracefully, GIVE without expectations, and LOVE unconditionally.
Did I miss anything?