I spent the weekend with my grandma and great aunt. They drove up to Michigan to have a sleepover with me. We went to the farmers market, coffee shop and beach. I joined them at church, we made breakfast for dinner and watched a romantic British film before bed. Here is what I learned:
- Age only makes you old if you stop trying new things. These two silver-haired ladies tried every kind of pesto they could at the farmers market. They tried apple soda bottled in cute glass. They asked a ton of questions about the sheep cheese I bought. They were excited to learn about why I got an espresso and about the new season of Gilmore Girls. They watched Cinderella with me and helped me pick out a new pair of Birkenstocks. They talked about swimsuits they wore and how they were similar to these new trendy ones girls are wearing. They even tried duck eggs and purple potatoes!
- The feeling of insignificance isn't reserved for 20 and 30 somethings. My grandma told my great aunt that two people I love dearly treated her "like a real person." They asked her questions and looked in her eyes when talking to her. My aunt nodded in agreement that these two people sounded wonderful. I catch myself in the assumption that the adults in my life are always happy and secure. That they are here to support and serve and focus on me. I mean it's always been that way! But here I am as an adult looking at these adults and seeing their humanness. They don't think their bodies are perfect, they are trying to find healthy ways of living, they are struggling with feeling unloved and unnoticed just like me. We really aren't that different at all.
- Time with family is worth it to both parties. They were happy to spend time with me, sure. They didn't stop telling me how excited they were to visit me and see where I live. They kept talking about how cool their new experiences were and how much fun they were having. I have no doubt that it meant a lot to them that I asked them to come stay. I hope they know that it meant just as much to me. Life is so precious, loss happens every day. Moments laying on the beach and soaking in the sun with family don't come around often enough. It isn't every day you get to take your grandma and great aunt to your favorite restaurant or cook them breakfast for dinner. These are memories that will remain in my heart much longer than memories of a weekend alone and I am thankful I have the opportunity to learn from but more importantly grow with my family.
Someday I want to have silver hair like them. I will explore new places, try new things, ask a lot of questions and spend quality time with family. And the most important thing I learned? It's pretty simple. Great impact can be made by choosing to spend time with people, choosing to listen to them, to look into their eyes, to ask questions about their interests and share some of your own. Life is meant to be shared and by sharing life we touch others deeply.