My dad’s mother could be best described as a “character.” Sure, she did some of the stereotypical grandmother things: bake, dote on her grandchildren, wear a little too much perfume. But, she also jetted around in a convertible, ate cake for breakfast, and appreciated a stiff drink. She certainly embraced the motto:live, love, laugh, and be happy. Around the time I was entering middle school, she lived with us briefly, allowing me to learn a few important life lessons that I still hold onto today:
On a rainy summer day, I made the mistake of dramatically sighing and telling Grandma that I was bored. “Well, then you’re boring.” My mouth fell agape — how dare she call me boring? “You can read a book. You can watch a movie. You can play a game. There are so many things you can do. Use your mind,” she went on. I pouted… but then curled up with my favorite book of poetry. Suddenly I found myself not so bored, after all.
During thunderstorms, Grandma would situate herself in our screened-in porch to watch the lightening crash and listen to the wind whirl ferociously around her. She would sit with a serene smile on her face as I stared at her from the other side of the door wondering why she wouldn’t just come back inside already. She approached metaphorical stormy situations the same way: calmly, cooly, and filled with the wisdom that it would eventually pass.
Baked a cake the night before for company? Well, its leftovers will make a great breakfast (I mean, when you think about it, how different is it from a frosted doughnut?). Craving an ice cream float, but dinner is in the oven? Just consider it an aperitif. Life is short, so enjoy a little whimsy when you can sneak it in.
This was one message she was constantly trying to ingrain into my 12-year-old brain — and she meant it in all aspects of life: food, friends, career, romance, etc. If I was going to eat chocolate, she suggested I try the richest, most delicious one I could find. When it came to friends, I should make sure they provide happiness and never try to take it away. And, marriage? Don’t even think about it until I find someone who’s going to adore me for the person I am and treat me with the respect I deserve.
Now that she’s gone, I hold these lessons close to my chest. And, don’t worry — I didn’t settle. My husband will be the first one to confirm that he’s a catch.
What wisdom did your grandparents pass on? Share in the comments below or on ourFacebook page! And if you’re looking to repay Grammy and Grandpa for all the advice they’ve shared over the years, you can check out our suggestions forgrandparent gift ideas.
Comments will be approved before showing up.