Monday, March 29, 2010
Lessons From My Grandparents
I have really been enjoying the time I have been spending with my Nano lately. For a long time I felt too overwhelmed to get to church. And then I felt overwhelmed with 2 young kids to drive out of my way to get to my Nano's home and pick her up and manage all three on my own - before, during and after the service (let alone get there on time!).
Nano has become very frail, and it is quite the production with all three of them. But I have finally succumbed to asking for help at church when I need it, and someone is always glad to give it. And I am finally comfortable in my spirituality where I don't feel like everything needs to be perfect. I just want to be there.
Nano and I have been able to have some great talks in the car. It's always hard in person somewhere because the kids are doing their thing. But in the car ride to and from church, we are able to talk very easily, and I have enjoyed the conversations that followed.
I came across this while I was cleaning out my office today. I wrote it in 2002 for one of the newsletters I send out monthly to my clients.
Lessons from my Grandparents
There is no one I admire more than my grandparents. In honor of their 59th wedding anniversary this May, I'd like to highlight a few lessons from their life together.
-Gratefulness - always say thank you and send a handwritten card immediately.
-Always learn new things - They both learned the computer and Internet at age 82 and are the most avid readers I know.
-Slow down - enjoy life. My Pappa emailed me - "Have not just a good day, but lots of them." I keep that on my desk as a reminder.
Keep it simple - Money is not everything; happiness is. Sometimes the happiest times are the cheapest and simplest.
-Honest & Integrity - I still remember Nano washing our mouths out with soap for lying.
-Self-reliance & competence - Pappa STILL works at age 84!
-Never badmouth anyone - I have never heard my Nano swear and have never heard either of them belittle anyone for any reason, EVER!
-Elegance - even at 84, Nano is still one of the most beautiful and graceful women I have ever seen. She always takes care of herself.
-Importance and reliability of family - there has never been a time when they were not there for me.
-Give back to society - Nano helps children learn to read and they are both active in their church and community.
-Do the best you can with what you have - and don't complain! I've never heard Pappa complain once.
-Frugality - Never waste food or money to the slightest degree.
-Commitment stems from both love & respect - they have been married for almost 60 years.
-Do what you say you're going to do - I have never heard a broken promise from either of them.
-Hospitality - always have enough food for that extra somebody who might pop by - and never make them feel that it is any additional effort.
-There is nothing better than a great story told by Pappa. Especially when the two of them battle it out as to who has the correct version! Listen & learn - chores and work can wait.
Happy Anniversary Nano & Pappa! May the year ahead be your best one yet!
My Pappa died in 2007 after 64 years of marriage to my Nano. He had just turned 90 and continued to work until the last 2 months of his life. My family all was there with him that entire time so he could die at home as he wished. I will always be grateful for those last months with him - but also for the tremendous man he was in my life.