Last week i was in Las Vegas for CES. My intention was to spend my last non-working, six hours exploring something other than fine dining so i could write a blog post on my travels. Alas, life had a different plan.
My Dad rang me in the afternoon. As soon as i saw his name on the phone, i knew something was wrong. My Dad never calls me in the middle of the day. Ever. Come to think of it, he rarely calls.
My wonderful grandmother, who has been battling Alzheimer’s, had been admitted to the ICU and was being treated for Sepis. Unlike me, my father is not dramatic and he is short on words. It’s strange we are related to be honest. By the end of the conversation, i was a wreck just from listening to him be a wreck.
I live far away from my parents but close to my Grandparents and my Dad’s sister. He was coming down DC for the weekend and i said i would come out to help. Helping turned into spending all day Sunday at Inova Hospital where we learned the Sepsis was no longer the issue. She had pneumonia, her right lung was full of thick fluids and her left lung has half full of the same crap. Recovery would be long and arduous, if at all.
Without getting further into the details, my Grandfather had to make difficult and important decisions for his wife of 70 years. I don’t envy him but i love him for his compassion and ability to put her life and wishes above his own.
After a painfully long, emotional week my grandmother passed away this morning. She passed as peacefully as possible, in comfort (thanks to modern medicine) and hopefully knew that she was loved by all who met her. I’m fortunate that my Grandparents are in their 90’s and have enjoyed (relatively) good health.
For some reason, the thing i think of the most today are the life lessons i learned from my grandmother. It’s odd the things we gravitate towards in moments of grief.
So, in loving memory of my grandmother here are three life lessons i will carry with me.
1. Thank you notes. It’s important to write them when people give you a gift or help you. It means a lot to the recipient. And, it’s a good way to practice and develop proper writing skills. In the age of social media, a letter in the mail goes a long way. That’s why you’ll always get a handwritten note from me. Always.
2. Don’t lock your knees. My grandmother used to come up behind me and tap me knees so they would not be locked. She would always say, “if you lock your knees you’ll have back problems like me!” Who want’s back problems? Not me!
3. Enjoy dessert. My grandfather has a huge sweet tooth. Actually both of my grandfathers did/do; i was destined for addiction before i even existed. Kidding side, my grandmother used to always say that dessert is worth enjoying. Not all day, every day but once a week. It’s one of the finer things in life. Being a child of the depression her point was, it’s important not to overlook the little and good things in life.
So friends, enjoy the good things in your life this weekend.