My grandmother was one of the most amazing women I’ve ever known. She was active most of her long life of 100 years. The type of woman who would think nothing of jumping on her grandson’s dirt bike and taking it for a spin when she was in her 80s. Going on a long walk with her would often leave me winded just trying to keep up. Growing up, I admired her zest for life, her “seize the day” attitude that so many of us envy but never actually put into practice. She seemed to truly enjoy every moment and didn’t really care what others thought. She simply did what made her happy and in turn gave her happiness to everyone around her, family, friends and strangers. Being around her was like being around a buzzing brilliant light. She also had an extensive knowledge of nature. Books about birds, flowers and Maine lined her bookcase. She showed me the beauty and relaxation that can be found in the outdoors. When I think of Gram, I immediately picture us out in her backyard, playing with her dogs and tending her garden. Now that she’s been gone eight years, I think of her more and more and realize just how much she influenced my personality today.
Yesterday my kids and I were in our backyard, basking in the sun, picking a few daisies and watching a grasshopper jump across the driveway. We slowly strolled around and picked out some rocks to throw into the stream that runs across our property. I felt completely at peace. Something not very common in my rush-rush daily life. Breathing in the air and gazing at the puffy white clouds relaxed me and I thought of my Gram again. My kids wanted to “race” which meant they’d get on their bikes and I’d get on my son’s scooter. “Let’s go!” I yelled and soon the three of us were zooming in big circles around our driveway. “Watch, I’m going to go REAL FAST!” I whooped as I gave myself a big push on the scooter. Soon I was flying down the hill and felt the incredible rush of just moving and being in that moment. The kids were laughing, I was yelling “woohoooo!” I could see myself from above, an almost-40 year old mother, wrinkles and gray hair and all, riding on the breeze. Moving and living and being happy. Spinning those wheels and loving every second of it. Thank you, Gram.