I use this blog as a way to connect to the folks who like to follow my journey. The ups and downs, the good and bad. Well last week... it was not so good. I lost the single most important and influential person in my life. For those of you who have met me you know that my Granny is my rock. Sadly on June 27 2020, she passed away. I wrote something on my personal facebook page, but It was suggested that I share it here as well, both beacuase of her impact on myself but also so preserve the writing. So here goes:
I've spent the last two days trying to put into words what my Granny means to me. Turns out with around 470,000 words in the english language.. They all seem inadequate. How do you sum up over 94 years of an incredible story with a few sentences? The short answer is...you can’t. She was so much more than a few adjectives, in a weak attempt for me to summarize the legacy that was and still is Margaret Reid. 4 children who are amazing in their own right. 7 grand children who are rapidly finding their way through this complicated world, making a difference in wildly varied ways. Each one makes her prouder than the other. And 6 great grandchildren who are the newest generation... all carrying on the lessons taught to us by our matriarche. For the past week I watched the greatest woman I know, failing physically. I watched her peacefully fade away and my first thought was… “Am I a jerk? Why am I not as sad as I should be?!” but early yesterday morning while I sat on her couch..in her spot , I realized that I have Countless lessons and volumes of wisdom that will guide me through the rest of my life, and as a side effect, these will all be passed on to thousands, if not hundreds of thousands more just by being one of the many people she helped craft. The pieces that made her so important,will never be gone. She was more than a body, Plain and simple….she was a Gift. And the beauty of a gift. It’s not about being tangible. There can be a physical item sure, but in its essence, a gift... it really is the thought that counts. And she was full of thoughts. Not always all hugs and kisses and warm fuzzies, but regardless, genuine and sincere to a fault. Was she always 100% authentic ?.. Well, as granny would say…” you know damn fine I am” The best part about a gift is that even when it’s gone, the moments that were shared when the gift is exchanged, are forever, they can’t be stolen away. Time is not tangible and no one can ever take back the experiences I, or anyone spent with her. No one can ever rob me of the stories we shared or made, No one gets to revoke the love and smiles she taught me to create and more importantly, to cultivate No Physical loss will ever be able to change the foundations that she set in place...ever.
Three years ago I spent 30 some hours alone in an ICU with Granny, and we really thought we were going to lose her. She told everyone to leave but me. In that dark room,we shared a lot of emotion, more than I thought I was ever capable of. In her exhausted state she said “We all have that someone we clutch to. A bond you can’t explain, that's us” Sometimes it’s family and sometimes it appears in the most unexpected situation. For me, I won the genetic lottery and that person was my Granny. So basically from day one I knew her and more importantly, she knew me. And she was never shy about reminding anyone…. Seriously ANYONE. She is the cheerleader that always believed in me, even when I was an Epic failure. Granny was also,the first to tell me when I was doing less than my best, that it was ok, and then tell me to “stop feeling sorry for yourself because that won’t help anybody” She taught me the power of sitting and having a quiet cup of tea with a splash of cold water to help meditate and see a bigger picture. She taught me to stand my ground for what I believe in, but more importantly, to be humble when I’ve shown poor judgement. She taught me that joy is not a diminishing resource and giving it away or sharing it makes it grow exponentially, both in myself but more effectively in others She taught me that being heard is important, but being understood is profound. She taught me that I am not the most important person in the world. But I should never let that stop me from trying to make a remarkable difference Some other lessons she impressed on me: Be a gentleman (or a lady) and find your own definition for what that is supposed to be, and never.. EVER settle for less. Be willing to explore, you will never discover greatness while sitting still. Never judge others, I won’t serve you in any real capacity, and It certainly doesn’t make you anymore likeable. There is never a substitute for manners, and they will open doors that no key will unlock Breathe, sometimes we need a reminder Learn to want what you have, instead of trying to have what you want. and happiness will find its way to you faster. Your sense of humor will get you through the toughest times and a sense of compassion is just as vital. Be grateful as well as gracious. Moderation is better than excess The human gut has been around longer than recorded history,higher education or organized religion… if it’s telling you something,.. there’s a reason, and you might want to listen. It never matters how expensive or extravagant a gift is, If instead, it’s made by hand, and comes from the heart... That right there, is priceless. I could go on for days but I think you all get the picture. Are all of these lessons exclusively hers? Probably not. Would I have discovered them on my own ? who knows. The one thing I am certain of is, I am unquestionably the person I am, because of her. She is, and always will be ,the north star to my moral compass. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Love the ones you have and let them know while you are able. Even at 94 years old.... Life can seem short <3