Yesterday, I had a moment of clarity that made me smile and released a huge weight from my chest. I wanted to share that moment with you, as well as a bit of sad news.
My grandma taught me many valuable lessons. One of them was the importance of passing it on. We call it Paying it Forward these days, but it’s the same thing. When you have blessings in your life, you share those blessings with others. You don’t do it because you want something in return, but just because you appreciate all the gifts that have been given to you.
See, when my grandma was younger, they went through a pretty rough patch. Grandpa was sick and couldn’t work, and in those days if you didn’t work, you didn’t get paid. Grandma worked nights at the canning plant, but had 6 kids at home to take care of as well as a now-sick husband. Things were rough, but the VFW saw their need and helped them get groceries, put gas in the car, and even helped fix the car when it broke down.
When grandpa got back on his feet, they passed it on. They joined the VFW and made it their mission to help other families like they’d been helped. They ingrained that lesson in their kids, and it was a lesson taught to the grandkids and great-grands as well.
It’s funny. I sometimes take it for granted the way I was raised. Giving is just what we do. Yesterday, one of those moments happened for me. I had a chance to connect a couple folks who needed each other. It put a huge smile on my face, and I realized that those moments, when you give and expect nothing in return, even for the smallest little thing, those moments are the ones that fill your spirit up, that make your soul healthier, wealthier and wiser. Getting a book contract or a great review has nothing on those moments.
Grandma passed away a few weeks ago. I count it as one of the biggest blessings in my life that I was able to be with her for those last few weeks. To hold her hand and have her remind me of the lessons she’d been teaching me for years. It’s been hard for me. Grief is a difficult thing, but yesterday…in that moment when I realized that I’d done exactly what my grandma had taught me to do, when I felt my soul fill up with joy over a simple little thing, I realized I don’t have to be sad anymore.
I’ll miss her every single day. I wish I had her here to help me cheat on my crossword puzzles…how that woman knew the strangest and most random words is a secret she’d never tell me! But having her was a blessing and the lessons she’s taught me will be with me forever. A part of her lives on. She paid it forward and with 6 kids, 12 grandkids and over 20 greatgrands…she’ll be paying it forward for years to come.