If you asked me the question a few months ago, I might have told you that my Grandma was dying. Ask me the same question today, I will tell you that she is living and will continue to live forever. Call me “bats**t bananas insane”. You’re right. Tell me I am in denial. You’re wrong.
“How do you feel?” I ask, over speakerphone. “I feel GREAT. Tell her,” Grandma says to my Mom, not sure if I can hear. I do. Her voice is so strong that I can practically see her. I imagine she’s doing arm exercises in her chair as she talks. Grandma sounds, in a word, determined. Still on speakerphone, I say hi to everyone. It’s like I am there, sitting in my Grandma’s living room with my family. I am hearing about the goings on. “Grandma is ‘juicing’ now,” my Mom tells me. From what I understand, she’s gotten super jacked. Kidding! Grandma’s “juicing” is less Jose Conseco and more Gwenyth Paltrow. She has started pureeing different combinations of fruits and vegetables and apparently, its helping her. That morning, my Uncle was out getting more ingredients for her special blends. He called to check in and see how she was doing. “Tell him I died!” Grandma said with a laugh.
LESSON ONE: Never lose your sense of humor.
“Grandma loved your last article,” my Mom tells me as I am still on speakerphone with everyone. When I first started writing these, I wasn’t sure if I should share them with my Grandma. Even though I was celebrating her, I feared that they would make her sad. But that was my issue, not hers. Those of you who have followed this series know that my Grandma is much more open now than she has ever been. She is a kind, generous, intelligent, beautiful person who is constantly surrounded by family and friends that love her. She created this. It’s proof of a life well lived.
LESSON TWO: Try to be your best self every day, attract love and kindness by being it.
“Life goes on forever,” Grandma tells me. “You pass on it on. Your genes, your stories, everything. And it never gets lost.” She is speaking from her soul and in turn, my soul opens to take it in. I start to cry. “The ‘Good’ passes on and the ‘Bad’ passes on, too. But that’s okay.” Someone in the background says, “There is no bad, only good.” I hear her wave them off with a sound. While nothing about her is “bad”, she knows her own truth and she’s cool with every part of herself.
LESSON THREE: There is strength in knowing your weaknesses, own it.
“Nobody dies, because a part of you lives,” she says finally. I have thought about this a lot over the last couple of days. When I called this morning, she was busy with her arm exercises and told me to call back. “You have to have your pride and dignity. I want to be myself. I don’t want to be the sick person,” she tells me later. She’s getting stronger and has set goals for herself. “Never say ‘No’. I used to say, ‘I can’t do it,’ but I know I can.” Her words and her will are inspiring. I have the feeling my Grandma is gonna be around for a while. But no matter what happens or when, I know this: I am a part of her as she is a part of me. Wherever I go, she’ll be there.
Photo courtesy of http://www.lisaaukland.com/