Five years ago, I was dancing with my cousins at my brother’s wedding. Right alongside us was my soon to be 91-year-old grandma dancing her heart out.
In that moment, I aspired to be just like her. Full of life. Not afraid of anything. And 100% committed to the moment.
This year, my grandma should have turned 95. Instead of celebrating her birthday, I am writing a eulogy, preparing to fly to her funeral and celebrate her entire life.
Letting go of a loved one can be a traumatic experience. But when you are lucky enough to meet someone who touches your heart deeply, they stay with you forever.
Often we leave an impact on others without even realizing the difference we make. My grandma taught me life-changing lessons, lessons I learned by watching how she lived her life and the actions she took. Actions speak louder than words, always. And my grandma was a true representation of how to live a rich, full life.
On her last birthday, I asked her, "How did you get through the tough times in life?"
She smiled and looked over at me. "Well it all works out in the end now doesn't it? There’s no point in worrying when things always turn out fine."
As I prepare to hop on a plane to attend her funeral, I reflect on all the other great nuggets of advice she gave me.
Here are 15 life lessons learned from my grandma's 95 years of life.
1. Needing someone is not a weakness. It is an act of self-love.
2. Sometimes the big wrongs lead us to the best rights.
3. Stop worrying about what you can’t control. The present moment is all that matters.
4. If you are going to overthink anything, always drift towards the good memories.
5. Nothing ever happens that is not supposed to. Trust the process.
6. There is not a “there” to get to. Life is about the moments in the journey not the destination.
7. It's not naïve to put a positive spin on everything. It’s believing in the big picture and knowing it will all make sense one day. Because it always does.
8. Respect expiration dates. Everything has one. Don't hold onto relationships, places or jobs that are supposed to end.
9. Strangers are just friends you have yet to meet.
10. You will be happy and free when you let go of what you can’t change.
11. Forgiveness isn't about freeing yourself from your past. It is about opening up your future.
12. Family matters most. You may not have it together but when you're with family, you have it all.
13. Don't take yourself so seriously. A smile can transform any difficult situation.
14. Never underestimate the power of a great book. Reading is like dreaming while you're awake.
15. No matter how hard it seems, everything's going to be alright. It always works out in the end.
by Shannon Kaiser