It’s been 15 years since my grandmother died. Like my children, I learned so many things from my grandma.
My grandparents had a cabin up north that my sister and I would stay at for two weeks every summer. We also saw them on holidays and sporadically through the year, but this was the true bonding time with them. We were especially close with Grandma Jo who was our main caretaker during those vacations.
These are some of the lessons I learned from Grandma Jo:
1. Grandma demonstrated a love of reading. She always had a book that she read before bed each night. She would read to my sister and I as well. When I was older, she’d save all of her National Enquirer magazines (okay, tabloids) for me. I would spend hours a day reading through that big stack!
2. Grandma Jo showed a love of writing. She kept a short daily journal. She also typed many letters to family and friends on her electronic typewriter. I loved typing on that!
3. Grandma loved nature and animals. We would feed the ducks together at the cabin or just sit outside and gaze at the serene lake. We also showered her dog with an embarrassing amount of attention, especially since we never owned a dog.
4. Grandma was physically active throughout her life. Even as she grew older, she played golf, mowed the lawn, and took walks. Physical fitness is a lifelong goal.
5. Grandma taught me to play the card game, gin rummy. It was relaxing, and my husband and I now occasionally play it in the evenings.
6. Grandma Jo demonstrated good sportsmanship. We would frequently play cards or board games. She always thanked me for playing and said how much fun she had with me even when I won. She would brag to her friends that I usually beat her at the various games we played. Now I wonder though if she ever let me win!
9. Lastly, her favorite outburst or expression was “Judas Priest!” We would tease her that it was her favorite rock band. Of course she had never heard of the band! Guess who exclaims “Judas Priest!” on a daily basis now?!