Well, this blog is all about Grandma Annie. Grandma Annie, may she rest in peace, is my maternal grandmother. She was and is the foremost person in the history of my entire life who championed me no matter what.
So this blog is for her.
Let me try to encapsulate Grandma Annie for you in the limited expanse of these words. I believe she has a message that benefits the whole world. I hope you enjoy her message. I know it has changed my world, shaped my self. See what she does for you.
When I think of Grandma Annie, I think smiles, laughter, radiance, abundance. She was not wealthy in the sense that she had lots of monetary wealth – her situation was quite the opposite - but she was wealthy in every other way. And I never once heard her complain about not having money. Her wealth was her spirit, her nature. Everything around her was good, incredible, amazing. Gratitude filled her heart, so her heart wanted for nothing.
I don’t know if she ever said the words to me: “You can accomplish anything”. But she made me believe it. It was her reality. Everything in her world was great and so everything in your world was going to be great. The ordinary was always extraordinary with Grandma Annie; she turned everything into magic.
Grandma Annie died last year, just around her 102nd birthday. She was always hardy, healthy. She always said it was because of her steady and pretty much exclusive diet of chocolate. I, however, believe it goes beyond that. I believe it was her optimism that fueled her for over a century of living. When everything you look at, everything you experience, everyone around you is amazing, wonderful, and something to be awed, how is life not just one grand adventure? That’s what it was like being around Grandma Annie. One big wonderful adventure. You loved being with her to watch as she turned an ordinary incident into a dramatic humorous story that had everyone’s sides splitting with laughter at her telling of it. Her comments on life as it was unfolding around her were always entertaining – life was never boring when Grandma was in the house.
Another important lesson I learned from Grandma – authentic living is the only way to live. She was herself, unapologetically. Love me as I am, or don’t – whatever. And of course, because of that attitude, who didn’t love her? Anyone and everyone she met was touched by her humor and generosity of spirit. Everyone loved her.
She loved life. In every picture I have seen of her, she is having a blast. You see the energy around her, the smile that was always in her eyes, the way those around her were smiling, too. As if she were contagious. Which, of course, she was. When have you been able to keep up a bad mood when someone who is so happy is there to cheer you up? It was impossible to stay upset around her.
If what I am describing all sounds mythical to you, like – how can a person like this really exist? – ask my siblings, my cousins, my parents, my aunts and uncles. They’ll all tell you the same story.
Some people’s histories can be told differently depending on the teller. Not so, with Grandma Annie. Her authenticity was so true, through and through, we would all tell you the same thing.
Grandma Annie cheered up our lives, as surely as she cheered us through it. She was our champion, our cheerleader, our never ending beacon of love always shining bright. She told it like it was, always honest and forthright. And loving. Eternally loving.
And that is why I said, in the beginning, “She was and is the foremost person in the history of my entire life who championed me no matter what.”. She still does. Her love and humor and wit and encouragement steer me through life even now. Her presence is as strong in my life now as it was before her passing. Because she was always a part of me, a voice inside my head, and warmth inside my heart. She holds my soul with the radiance of her love and the greatness of her spirit. She is me, when I am at my best, most loving, and whimsical. She is happiness that shines through the eyes as only true lasting contentment can. And she is beside me, holding my hand in silent support, when things are bad.
Grandma Annie is true love.
I hope you have gotten to know my Grandma, and that her lessons have touched your world. I know they have certainly formed mine.
With love and serenity to all,