When I waver in my conviction to create a life worth live, when I assume I should be working more conventionally and with all that entails -- working a nine-to-five, not enjoying my life, subjugating myself for a dollar, etc. -- I think about Gram, my grandmother, and I get back to my living. She's getting older now, and like many older people, she has experienced the death of some of her nearest and dearest friends and family.
My mother, in contrast, and who almost died once and has endured many major illnesses since, is not facing this reality as severely. As it now stands, she came out of it, and many of the people around her are still living. Gram, on the other hand, is watching the threshold approach. And no one is coming back from that
My grandmother has always been a charmer. Everyone takes to her. She's funny and kind, even flirty. I aspire to be so charismatic when I'm her age. But in the last few years, her attitude has turned a touch south. She now signs her emails, "Love and Prayers," where she never used to pray much.
Her husband died nearly 30 years ago, and I've heard her tell stories about spending her last days with friends as they passed. In all of this, she never made a fuss; it's unlike her to draw attention to pain. That is, until her neighbor died two months ago.
When her neighbor died, she lost her most frequent confidant and friend.
For someone who is so positive, the regret that follows this sadness astonishes me.
But, I'll leave that for another post.