Things I Am Learning From My Grandma Part 7

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.

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  • Anonymous

    I love this series. Having lost both of my grandmothers by the time I was 14, I feel like I can live vicariously through your writing. Thank you so much.

    • Nicole Shabtai

      Thank you so much for reading. <3

  • Nata Rubiano

    You’ve made me cry with every article of the series… your grandma is such an inspiration…

    • Nicole Shabtai

      Thanks so much for reading! I will tell her you said that.

  • Karoline Onsrud

    I hope your grandma never dies!

    • Nicole Shabtai

      You’re so sweet. <3

  • Colleen McPhee Pinto

    I love your Grandma series. My maternal grandmother, who I was ridiculously close to, died very suddenly when I was 18. My paternal grandmother is 81 1/2 and you’ve inspired me to try and become closer to her. It’s been hard, especially since my dad died suddenly in November., but this series sort of makes me more accountable. Thank you!

  • Nicole Shabtai

    I am so sorry for your loss Colleen. Thanks so much for reading, and sharing that with me. Becoming close to my Grandma in this way has enriched my life so much, I encourage you to do the same. <3

  • Sue Choi

    such a beautiful story. thanks!

    • Nicole Shabtai

      Thanks for reading!

  • Mellisa Cota

    I LOVE reading these posts… I always feel happy and filled with hope after reading lessons from your grandma. Give her a big hug from me, she is a truly wonderful person. Everyone should be as lucky as you to have such a wise, kind, wonderful grandma!

    • Nicole Shabtai

      You are too sweet. Thank you for your kind words, and for reading! I will tell her!

  • Laura Mendez

    I Love this series! Your Grandma sounds like the wisest, most amazing woman ever! Your articles have given me a new attitude towards life. I try to keep her lessons in mind. Thank you so much for sharing them with us!!! :) <3

    • Nicole Shabtai

      THANK YOU Laura! I am glad you’re getting something out of it. I will pass on your kind message. xo

  • Whitney Beck

    Thank you for writing these posts! I have a very close relationship with my maternal grandmother and every day I try to be more like her- she is so unique, strong, funny, determined, and wise. I am going to try to learn everything that I can from her while I can. And today is her 73rd birthday- Happy Birthday Grandma!

    I am so happy to hear that your grandma is feeling better! <3

  • Nicole Shabtai

    Thank you for reading, Whitney! Happy Birthday to your Grandma! She sounds amazing.

  • Love Streams

    Thank you for sharing your grandmother with us Nicole. I lost my maternal grandmother a year and a half ago and I still hear her in my head every few days. I learned how to live a life of giving and gratitude from her every day example. I miss her terribly. I’m going to visit my grandfather (age 94) next week. They were married 67 years and he’s still going strong. My grandfather, @Forrester Lee is on Facebook and has a blog so I get to keep in touch often! <3

    • Nicole Shabtai

      Thank you so much for reading, your kind words, and for sharing with me. I am so sorry for your loss. I know what you mean about hearing her in your head. What a gift she gave you. That is beautiful. Your grandfather sounds amazing.

  • Dani Lerma

    This is a really cool article! I was so sure my grandmother was going to die four months ago and it was extremely depressing and I knew there was so much more I should have learned from her. She got better and though I haven’t spent much time with her since, I have learned that you shouldn’t ever stop fighting or give up hope. She didn’t and I’m sure that is why she is still alive today.

    • Nicole Shabtai

      I totally agree! Its amazing how strong the mind is. Thanks for reading and sharing that with me!

  • Anna Czaczkowska

    It sounds like you and your grandma are a lot like me and my grandma…. makes me cry every time knowing that you’re going through similar uncertainty and love and getting to know her better all the time, even though she’s someone you’ve (probably) known your whole life.

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