I adore my grandmother. (G-ma, as I call her) I really do. She was a huge influence on me while I was growing up. Strike that. She still is a huge influence on me. Because frankly, she has taught me that I still am growing up.
This is probably my favorite thing about G-ma. She doesn’t subscribe to the notion that one is growing until they reach the top of “the hill,” and then they preceed to start dying for the remaining 40+ years of their life. She always lives her life like she hasn’t reached the pinnicle yet.
Now, to paint a better picture of G-ma, I should mention that she isn’t one for sitting around her house waiting for her family to stop by so that she can impart her wisdom. No. She imparts her wisdom by living her life. After her first husband (my grandpa) died, she kept living. She went to hockey games with her friends. She took trips to Mexico with her friends. She just kept enjoying life. And, she was open to another relationship–even after 40+ years of marriage to the same man. When her second husband of 10 years passed away, she still believed that life wasn’t over just yet. She is currently dating another wonderful man.
I went down to South Texas last December to visit her where she stays for the winter. And let me just say, I was amazed by what I experienced. These people (mostly 60+) were living just like a bunch of 20 year olds. It was truly incredible. For the four days I was there, I went to 4 “jam sessions” where they “hang out” and dance and sing and eat and “goof off.” Yes, 80 year olds goofing off. I also went about town meeting all of G-ma’s friends. We ate. We shopped. We ate. We shopped. I was totally and completely worn out. Yet, it was a life-changing time for me.
I realized that life is not over ’til it’s over. A lot of things can go wrong in life. You can achieve your goals. You can survive your losses. But, most importantly you can choose to keep existing or you can choose to keep living. G-ma’s choice is clear.
I want to be just like G-ma when I get to my eighties. Well, with one qualification. I probably won’t wear any cute matching denim outfits set off by a nice shade of lipstick and a dark brown perm. But, then again, I just might.