Friday, June 7, 2013

Participation, Not Passivity

Wednesday was my Grannie's birthday... and I completely forgot about it.

She would have been 88. She passed away in 2011 after a long struggle with dementia. Her death was the first passing I felt both sadness and relief. She really wasn't Grannie for the last two years of her life. I admit, I struggled to visit her in that time because she didn't know who I was. The last time I saw her before her passing, she didn't remember my mom (Grannie's first child). That was so incredibly painful for my mom, but she was so faithful in being with Grannie on a regular basis until she was called to heaven. I will always admire that about my mom.

But I forgot her birthday. I remembered her birthday last year. My mom and I reminisced about Grannie on that day. This year? My mom and I talked repeatedly that day without mentioning Grannie. Did my mom forget? Or was it just too painful for her to bring up?

My original intention for this blog was to highlight the good stuff in life that I let just pass me by. There is no one subject I stick with because my life is incredibly full with so many wonderful things. I'm ashamed that I forgot my Grannie's birthday (side note: My dad passed away in 2009, and I continue to celebrate his birthday every year.). However, I will never forget my Grannie and the amazing memories I have of her.

My first and middle names just happen to be Grannie's first and middle names. When I was younger, she would tell me I was her favorite grandchild. She was always slipping me little presents and dollar bills when she came over. She was the one grandparent who was consistently part of my life. She had style that, I believe, only women born in the 1920s and 1930s can pull off successfully. She was beautiful, funny, loving, and so passionate about everything she was involved with. Grannie was awesome.

Our family has lost many members in the past few years. My dad passed in 2009. Grannie passed in 2011. One of Richie's "grandmothers" (not blood) passed in 2011, too. My dad's sister lost her husband in 2012. One of my uncles passed this past December. Let's be honest: It sucks. But gosh, the beautiful memories we have are something to be treasured. While I will treasure those memories, I will continue to make an effort to treasure each day that is given to me. If you're reading this, look at the blessings that surround you and give thanks.

In a recent sermon at church, our pastor was brutally honest with us. He reminded us that we are only here on this earth for just a blip of time. Our time is incredibly limited. Do we want to spend it in a rush, or do we want to slow down and savor? I'm rambling here, but slowing down is something I regularly struggle with. I like to stay busy and productive. However, I miss so much of the good around me. And I missed my Grannie's birthday. I won't beat myself over that, but it was a clear reminder that I am not taking the time to absorb all the blessings around me.

Participation in life, not passivity, is what it's all about.

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