thursday thoughts: the greatest gift you can give

Warning: This isn’t your conventional Thursday Thoughts post from me.  It’s a little personal,  but from the heart.

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I woke up yesterday morning thinking of my Grandma in the last few years of her life.  (A little back story:  I was raised by my Grandparents.  My Grandpa passed away when I was 18, and my Grandma passed away 3 years ago when I was 25.  I miss them dearly, but I’ve taken so many life lessons away from them.  In my memories, they still continue to teach me so much.)  Flashbacks of visiting her in her independent living apartment (or senior dorm as we jokingly called it) ran through my head.  I’d stop over for lunch on my days off, come by every Sunday to take her to church and fill her pill-box up, and other various times out of the week to help with laundry, doctor’s appts, and other household tasks.  As her primary caretaker, it was very hard at times to balance my  life and hers, but I thought of how happy she always was to see me.  Each time I walked through the door, it was like the best day of her life.  Although she never wanted me to leave, she was always so appreciative of the time I did spend with her.

In a blog post on my 28th birthday, I came up with a list of 28 things I had learned in life thus far.   One of the things on that list was “Take your time and give it to others.  It is the best gift you can give”.  Remembering all my Grandma’s joy has just solidified how true that statement is.  Is there a greater gift?  I really don’t think so.  In time, there are memories made, relationships founded, love shared.  I think in the end this is greater than any amount of money or any material possession.

It seems like as life goes on we are always having a time struggle.  When you’re a kid, you have so much time you are bored.  When you’re in school (if you were like me) you procrastinate and you’re up at the last second trying to finish a 5 page paper.  When you hit the real world, there isn’t enough time in the day to do things around the house AND work your 8 hour job.  But then at some point after retirement, I’ve watched some older people feel like they have so much time on their hands alone, they get so lonely.

Ironically now I find myself complaining more and more that I don’t have time to blog, time for myself, volunteering, working out – the list goes on forever.  As we get older, our priorities change.  Truthfully, there aren’t more hours in the day then there were back then.  We gain responsibilities, and sadly the things we should make time for get pushed to the side.  I think we forget that we aren’t promised tomorrow.  So really we should me making the most of today, right?

The little moments I spent with Grandma I can never get back, and I’m so happy and thankful I made the time for her when she was around.  I encourage everyone to give time to someone you love today, or this weekend.  Whether it’s a phone call to friend,  dinner with a family member, volunteering in the community.  I think we should all pay it forward because one day we will be 83 and be hoping someone walks through that door to see us.

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