Sometimes you think you’re prepared for certain moments, but it isn’t until they arrive that you fully understand them and realize, that in fact, you were not prepared at all. Or perhaps there are moments in life when being “prepared” is not possible, because it isn’t until we fully experience them that we can truly grasp their meaning.
This post is for my grandmother Martina, who at the age of 96, Ninety Six, passed away in Venezuela last night. While I completely understand that a life of 96 years is a true blessing, and that it was just time to go, I just came to the realization that no matter how “prepared” you think you are, these moments are hard. Especially when you’re away from your family and when you get to spend them alone for a second time (when my grandmother on my mom’s side died, I was living in Boston alone).
Life is full of lessons; lessons from experiences, and lessons from the example set by people around you, who in one way or another influence you on the way you act, think and even feel. I find those who are able to influence you in the way you live by just leading by example truly admirable. And that’s exactly the impact my grandmother had on me. Much of who I am, to this day, I owe it in big part to her and how she lived her life. I wish she knew how she significantly influenced me to always be strong, grateful and eager; three qualities that in great part define one of my life’s mottos and that to me are intertwined. Gratefulness and awareness of how lucky we are can certainly be used to fuel our strength and eagerness, reason why I’m constantly comparing myself to those less fortunate, and using that gratitude to simply do what it needs to be done no matter how big the effort required to do so is. A life full of complaints won’t get you anywhere, but a life full of gratitude will elevate you and positively impact your actions and thoughts.
I just hope I can be a role model for Matthew and teach him, by example, to be a good person. To be the kind of person who would always be grateful for what he has and the blessings he has been given; the kind of person to be compassionate and kind to others just because it’s the nice thing to do and not in exchange of something; the kind of person with the drive to work diligently and not complain, and ultimately, a person as admirable as my grandmother was. To the woman who taught me that you can do it all, to be strong and grateful….I wish I could hear again those survival stories from WWII, how knowing 5 languages saved her home from being taken away, how she dedicated her life to my grandfather who lost an arm in war…. I’m eternally grateful for the time I spent with her and for the example she was and still is for me. Having such an extraordinary role model in my life was a true blessing, and I hope I honour her life by applying the lessons she passed on to me.
Happy Monday everyone.