There’s nothing like going to a 90th birthday party to make you reflect on the meaning of life. The weekend before last I was fortunate enough to celebrate 90 years of life with my grandma at a party that she hosted with nearly 100 people! Before we talk about how incredible it is to have lived to 90, let’s applaud the fact that my grandma has that many people who love her in her life and were available to party with her. I’m pretty sure that’s a big contributor to the reason why she’s still with us today.
I’ve always been close with my grandma – I lived with her briefly after my parents went through divorce when I was four years old and spent many spring and summer breaks at her house. She always made sure that the time we had together was special and fun, whether it be taking me to the Sizzler (my mom refused to take me there) so I could pig out on dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets and jello or patiently teaching me how to make my own custom beautiful porcelain dolls (one of her many creative outlets). My grandma has been hosting parties, attending square dancing events, sewing beautiful clothing and providing laughter for her family and friends for decades. She’s always been the life of the party and someone who you will never forget.
My grandma didn’t do everything perfectly and life wasn’t always smooth. She’s a window and a divorcee, she gave birth to six children and then adopted a seventh, she lost a child too young and she has Macular Degeneration, which means she can barely see anymore. When it came to expanding her family, my grandma didn’t care if her husband’s blue collar job meant that they all might be all be sharing one can of tuna for lunch – love was the most important thing.
As I listened to my grandma and others speak candidly about her life, I couldn’t help reflect on my own. Did anyone care if my grandma had a career or not? Did they care if she lived in a big house or drove a luxury car? None of those things were mentioned. As they say, no one looks back on their life and wishes they’d spent more time at the office. The stories my grandma and others told centered around family, laughter, passions, and love. What will I want people to say about me when I’m 90? Will they say I followed my passions? Will I be surrounded by a hundred family members and friends? Will they say I was generous? Will they say I was happy?
Does the path I’m currently on lead me to the life I dream of living?
Thank you grandma, for building this family. I love you!