Lessons from GG

This weekend, we celebrated 87 years of life, love and great wisdom as we said goodbye to the last of our parents' parents.

Though there were tears, it wasn't an overly sorrowful affair. We honoured GG as she lived, with family (blood related and love related), some wine and much laughter.  Because though we no longer have Gram, we still have all of her greatness.

She lived through a world war and the great depression, through birthing five children in seven and a half years, through the young loss of a son and her husband, through grandchildren and great grandchildren, all the while watching the world unfold, from transitor radio to world wide web.  

Nearly nine decades later, she could still stay up nights at the dining room table, arguing about politics and religion. You never had to guess what she was thinking, and we're grateful for that.  She taught us all many things, not the least of which, the following:

  1. Live with true moderation. A loving family, some shelter, a little food and means to support these three (and maybe a glass of wine) is all anyone really needs. Nothing more, nothing less.
  2. Even when you have nothing to give, you can still change a life. Whether it's a once a week visit or occasional shelter for a child in need.
  3. Enjoy food, wine and company. The power of social connections and enjoyment of life (aka happy hour) in longevity is not to be underestimated.
  4. Stand up for what you believe, especially when it's not popular.  Even when you're a woman born in the Silent Generation, who somehow turns out to be a feminist and a religious reformer.
  5. Don't think about things too much. Life really can pass us by while we're making plans.

We're always weighing things in our lives -- buy this, spend that, build career, book the vacation, take the promotion, start a business, have a baby, get a dog, win the client, fire the client, go back to school...the list goes on and on -- when what we should probably be doing is just recognizing that's there's limited time to be had, so we should quit the things that make us unhappy, discover and follow our passions, and know that the only thing we take with us is the experiences we had, what we contributed and the love that we made.

Made the road rise up to meet you, GG, and thank you.