Day 76 Question 76:
It’s been said that after they pass away, the most important people in our lives “live within us.” Is there anyone from your past that lives within you?
Throughout my life I have experienced many people pass away. I have not had any gradparents alive for over 10 years…hell maybe even over 15 years. My parents are older so unfortunately I got less time with my grandparents than I would have liked. I loved all of them dearly but being the young ages that I was when they passed I didn’t get to appreciate them in the same way I probably would have as an adult…the way I appreciate my parents now that I am grown and have a sense of maturity and understanding of the world. It is so funny when you are young so many people say, “You will understand when you are older,” or “You will thank me later (mainly parents when they are disciplining or saying no.” It truly is amazing how much truth there is in those statements….how getting older and experiencing more of life how much you do understand where people are coming from. You start to understand that your parents goal was not to make your life miserable. Their goal was to protect you and help you make the best choices so you could have a good life.
I lost my grandmother (on my mom’s side) almost 20 years ago. Out of all of my grandparents she was the one that held such a huge place in my heart. I see so much of her in my mother and I think that is the reason my mom and I have such a close relationship. My memories of my grandmother are a lot fewer than I wish they would be but the one’s I hold onto I know I will never forget. She is the person that has passed that I believe lives within me. Just like my mother, my grandmother was such a selfless woman. She was silly and happy all day everyday (at least when I was around). My grandmother loved so deeply within her and she made whoever she surrounded her with so comfortable and she would always bring the biggest smiles to everyone’s face…usually she was making everyone laugh. She saw the good in people…even when they made mistakes. I don’t know if I should even indulge this information (because there is not 100% solid proof) but family members were almost certain that my grandfather cheated on my grandmother in their younger years. My mother told me that she knew about the affairs. She loved my grandmother and she loved her three girls. It is hard for me to swallow someone staying with a cheater but my grandmother believed in the vows that she took and didn’t think she just up and leave on account of one thing he did wrong when he had done so many things right. I do not know the details. I could be completely off base. What I do know is that my grandmother was this beautiful woman that chose to give people the benefit of the doubt because she would rather love than fight. She had this understanding that people make mistakes and have faults. She was not a pushover…she knew the limits….but she was a fighter. My grandmother took vows and she was going to honor them. The relationship my grandparents had at the time that I knew them was that of complete, true and genuine love. My grandmother adored my grandfather and my grandfather adored my grandmother. If my grandfather did cheat in his earlier years he learned from it and he realized what a gem he had in my grandmother.
My grandfather passed away 20 years ago and when that happened my grandmother changed. She was still loving but it became obvious that she was just going through the motions in life. Part of her heart was now missing. My grandmother died 8 months later and I still feel so strongly in me that she ultimately died of a broken heart.
I believe it is my grandmother that lives within me because I have so much love in me. I feel it in the tips of my fingers and down to my gut. I may become annoyed at things and not understand why people do as they do but I try my hardest to see the good in them and remember that our lives are not the same. I believe my grandmother has guided me to be like this. I am unsure of how I feel about God, religion, afterlife, etc. but I once had a dream that gave me a belief in something. In this dream I was walking down a street in NY where I grew up. I went up to this one house that had an enclosed porch. I walked into the enclosed porch and when I went up to the main door to knock to be let inside I looked to my left and saw my grandmother sitting in a chair. In my dream I knew she had passed away and my heart immediately started to pound. She just looked at me and said, “I just want you to know I am doing ok. I am really happy now.” I stood there in silence. It was as if my feet had lead poured straight into them and I couldn’t move. I didn’t utter one word. She told me she loved me and that was the last thing I remember. I believe I woke up shortly after.
I have always been the type of person to try to hide a lot of emotions. I did not want to cry or show sadness in front of people. At funerals I held everything in…when the sadness and overwhelming emotion was bubbling up inside of me (I have no trouble expressing emotion now…if I need to cry I am going to cry). I think my grandmother always sensed that about me and I don’t know the exact meaning of this dream but a part of me feels like she was giving me the message that all would be ok. She wanted me to know I would be ok. I will hold onto this dream until my last dying breath because it is something that gives me great hope. It helps me lose some of the fear that I have had about the unknown. Everything really will be ok.
I decided to write this entry today because last night I spent time with my parents. I made them dinner and after we were finished my mother decided to go in the other room to watch The Waltons (she just loves that show-why I do not know…hahaha) so my dad and I sat at the table for about an hour and a half and just chatted about all kinds of different memories. He reminded me of so many things from my childhood and different places we had been. He told me things about family members that I did not know. Those are the conversations I love having with my parents….they give me a greater insight into where I have come from. I knew I had to write about someone in my family today…I was meant to. I could not think of anyone better than my grandmother. She was my little, adorable hero. She stood only 5 feet tall but she was full of sass and humor and kindness and love. She was the grandmother that so many people could only dream of. She is the PERSON so many people should take lessons from…she understood what humanity should be like. Even though I was only 13 when she passed away, she played a big part in shaping who I am as a person and I could not be more thankful.
If you could answer this same question, who would the person that has passed away be that has had a great influence on your life?