Gratitude

Gigi & Me at my wedding 2 1/2 years ago
Gigi & Me at my wedding 2 1/2 years ago

I give thanks for my family, all seated around the living room, remembering so many wonderful things about Grandma Sheila.

Sometimes, as we go through our busy lives, checking things off the to-do lists and running to work and to school and to the gym and everywhere else, we lose sight of the whole point of this life. And then, when we are halted in our tracks, because someone we loved so dearly has left this world, everything else takes a back seat and we focus on what is truly important.

Family. Love. Breathing. Noticing the cold or the heat or the sunshine or the moonlight. Looking a beautiful child in the eye and listening to his very long story. Hugs. So many hugs.

What is important loses focus in this American society. We run ourselves on a perpetual treadmill, thinking that’s the way life is supposed to be.

It’s not. 

What matters is the depth of relationships we maintain throughout life. The number of hearts we connect with. The number of voices that are familiar in the dark of night. The number of people we can turn to in the depths of despair or when our sadness spills over or when our joy is a balloon carrying us skyward.

Sure, I want to accomplish, but not if it means my humanity is sacrificed in the meantime.

My grandmother had an incredible full life. She touched every person she came into contact with. I can’t count how many people knew Grandma Sheila, and no one – no one – had a bad thing to say about her. Ever.

She carried herself with dignity, grace, elegance and kindness through every day of her life, up until her very last breath early yesterday morning.

She was a lighthouse in every storm. She was my safe haven. She loved me unconditionally. She loved all of us unconditionally. 

Four children. Seven grandchildren. Twenty great-grandchildren.

Countless cousins and friends and community members.

A life incredibly well-lived. Her priorities clear as the surface of a lake. Her love everlasting.

I will miss her all the days of my life.

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