I am thankful for the last couple of years that I have had with my grandmother. I have not always been so thankful for my relationship with my only grandmother.
My grandmother has been a difficult, hurtful person in my life since I was a child. But now, as she slips in and out of reality, I find a little more tolerance and forgiveness of past transgressions.
As I plan, probably my last trip out to Arizona to assess her condition and help with whatever transition may be needed, I am faced with the sad task of seeing her mentally slip away.
My grandmother was a successful real estate broker who exhibited exceptional warmth and charm to her clients and co-workers. I loved being with her in the company of those many clients. This was when she was always “at her best”. Glamorous, funny, charming, witty, all the things I felt I would never be and at times was told I would never be by her.
I am thankful for the understanding “time” has bestowed upon me. I don’t think she ever meant to be cruel. Perhaps she was living her own tortured existence. I think we are able to see these things about our parents, grandparents and siblings when the filter of immaturity is finally lifted from our eyes. I am thankful for that.
I am thankful for the numerous lessons she taught me. She taught me to be frugal with my money, always asking; “Do you absolutely love it? If not, don’t buy it”. Her frugality afforded her the ability to provide for members of my family who should’ve provided for her in her later years.
My trip to Japan with her and my Uncle was under the condition that I pay my own airfare there. This was no small feat when I was in highschool. But I did it! I saved the money and paid for the airfare. This I would've never done had she not taught me how capable I was.
She taught me how to treat clients. She was a master at customer service.
She taught me, inadvertently, to be mindful of others’ moods and non-verbal cues. This has served me well when providing customer service.
She had a wonderful wit and perspective on life. I sometimes see that in myself. Because she told me to always “work on personality” because of how I looked, I did. I cannot say I have a brilliant personality but my friends do, that counts for something, right?
So as she steps in and out of reality I find myself missing her, ALL of her. Not many of us get a “heads up” that things are heading south. Hopefully, I can catch her one last time before she skips off into her mind to let her know how grateful and thankful I have been for having her as my only grandmother. For this, I am most thankful.
This post is a submission to the DocuSign/ActiveRain Thankful Contest. It's possible I will win a prize for writing this post. You could win a prize too by going to the Contest Announcement and sharing your own story.