Grandparents can teach us a lot about life, happiness and ourselves. From what it was like during WWII to how to nail your job interview, they are always there to recall amazing memories or help you out. Before she went to be reunited with her love, my great-grandmother blessed me with love, knowledge, and so much. Here are just a few things that I have learned from her.
1. Stay in touch no matter the distance
It doesn't matter whether she lives on the other side of town or the other side of the country. Staying in touch is so important because it lets you both stay in the loop about what is going on in each other's lives. It's always nice to have one more person who you can talk to. Yes, you may have a busy schedule but I guarantee that your day will be even just a little better after that five-minute conversation with your grams. Trust me.
2. A phone call or letter can go a long way
Communication is important. I really can't stress this enough. When your grandma takes the time to send you a handwritten letter telling you that she loves you and asking how you're doing, you better respond. It doesn't have to be a nine-page letter that details every single moment that has happened in your life since the last time you saw or talked to her. But take the time to tell her about the A you got on that big project or about the new friend you made. Grandmas make the best pen pals.
3. Visiting in person is worth it
If she lives on the other side of town, you have no excuse not to go and visit her once in a while. Even if she lives far away, though, you should make the effort to drive or fly out to see her. It is so nice and rewarding to go and visit. Plus, you have so much more time to chat and bond. It's even better if she makes her famous homemade chocolate chip cookies.
4. Listen to their old time stories
Learning history through someone who actually lived it is way cooler than reading a textbook. There's nothing quite like hearing stories about the good ole days and getting hooked on every last detail. The history books leave out so much and aren't nearly as personal as the stories that our grandparents tell, so take a minute and ask them what life was like back in the 30s and 40s.
5. Make every moment count
You have to make the most of every moment because that exact moment will never happen again. Don't let a silly argument or disagreement taint and spoil your day. Let it roll off your shoulders and refocus on something positive. You only get 24 hours in a day so fill them with things that make you happy.
6. Life is short and time flies by
As sad as it is to think about, our grandparents won't be around forever. Time goes by so much faster than any of us think and before you know it, you'll be trying to find the perfect balance between your full-time job and family. Stop dwelling on the past and instead, focus on the present. Don't let time pass you by. Now is the best time to go out and do something worthwhile.
7. Take pictures to remember the moments
I don't care if you think that you look like a disgruntled T-Rex in that picture, it is a memory and it is worth saving. You should take as many pictures as possible and let it be a timeline of your life. They say a picture is worth a thousand words... well your life is made up of a million different stories to tell, so you'll need a lot of pictures to help.
8. There's a difference between being related and being family
If there's one thing I learned about family, it's that there is a difference between simply being related to someone by blood or marriage and having a true family member. Yeah, sure, you may have 24 cousins on each side of the family tree, but how many of them do you actually talk to? It's the ones who know not to ask about your now ex-boyfriend that are your true, close family.