Today is my paternal grandmother’s 83rd birthday. She lives out of town and I am unable to be there at her celebration, along with a few others who live out of town and some who live in another state. I wish I could be there. I barely know her. I met her, my dad, etc when I was 10. I lost my grandpa when I was 14 and it deeply saddened me because I barely knew him. I want more from my relationship with her. This past Christmas is the very first time I ever got presents from her. I will tell you this, the hat and pillow she made for me are more special than any store bought gift, as is the blanket my mom made me. Presents made by hand, made with love touch me in ways I can’t express with words.
I saw my grandma in October, at my cousin’s wedding. She is in a wheelchair now. Family members had to get her out of it and onto a regular chair for pictures. It was so hard to see her like that. She’s in a home and has been for a little while now. Seeing the generations before you age isn’t an easy thing to take. The grandma I live with and take care of is a prime example of just that. Both of these fine women were once vital, competent, independent, and women who you didn’t want to piss off. 😉 Seeing one in a wheelchair now and the other needs a walker, it breaks me. I know it’s a part of life. Those of us who live long enough will go through many changes, one that are not only hard for those around them to watch, but to deal with themselves.
I complain sometimes about cleaning up after Grandma’s spills or yell at her when she doesn’t use her walker and then has balance problems, forgetting how very hard all of this is on her. I am 34 and while that’s not old, I have changed physically. I suffer from arthritis, migraines, back problems, etc and it’s so hard some days. So imagine then how my grandmas must feel. To know you can’t get around the way you once did, to need help with so many every day tasks has to hurt in ways I can’t imagine.
Time is fleeting and so very precious. We never know how long any of us has. I could die today or live to be 104. My son, my most precious gift from God, could leave me well before I am ready or hopefully he lives to be old, grey, and have a family of his own. I have already lost so many around me and am probably going to lose a lot more before my time is done. It’s hard to lose those we love and we wonder why they were taken from us. We get angry, go into a depression, and wonder how we’ll make it through. It’s most difficult when we lose a child, a parent, a spouse, a grandparent, a best friend….well anyone you’re deeply attached to really. Sometimes it stings just because you wished you’d known them better. In either case, death is not easy to deal with. It is inevitable though. There isn’t a rhyme or reason as to why and when many people leave us and it’s hard to accept, but the living needs to find a way to keep pushing on. We’re here for a reason.
While we are here, we must remember to cherish that time we’ve been given. It can be easy to take time and people for granted, we’re all guilty of it. I try so hard though to be grateful for still being here, for having so many still here whom I love, and for the fact that so many love me in return. I want to make the most of my life while I still have it. When my time on earth is done, I want to leave a legacy of love, laughter, joyous memories, and light behind me. My story will one day be over, but I want it to be read for years to come. Until it is time, I want to laugh, smile, learn, grow, feel, love, and just live.
I am going to fail, but it is how I handle those failures that will shape me and my future. Mistakes are just my next lessons in life. I can’t control a lot of what happens to me, but I can control what I do and say. Let my life be one that is worth remembering one day. I don’t know how many days I am to have left, but I don’t want to waste them. I urge you all to hug someone you love today, smile at a stranger, help a friend, create lasting memories, play a game with your child, take pictures and have the memories for later, say thanks for still being alive, go for a walk and enjoy the world around you, make love to your spouse, visit your grandparents, bake cookies, just do something positive. 😉 Make this day count, you may not be given another. ❤