These hands. These arthritic, gnarled, wrinkled, soft and loving hands belong to one of my most favorite people, my grandmother. One year ago today, marks the passing of my sweet grandmother, Margaret. Affectionately called Marge. She was one month shy of her 98th birthday. We journeyed nearly 40 years together. I grew up down the street from her, spent many days with her, playing games and cards and piano together. We made meals together, sang songs way off key together, played jokes and laughed a whole lot.
She taught me so much about gratitude by savoring the simple things. She kept life honest and faithful, simple and sweet (and a bit spicy too!) even when she lost her son way too early and when she delivered her teeny tiny first baby in her bathroom, a miscarriage, and gave that beautiful life a proper burial in her backyard at a very ripe young age.
She loved her wine and her beer; she loved her butter and she ate fat right off the bone and licked her fingers afterwards with great delight. She had the spirit of a child, playful and free, light hearted and living in the moment. Her 4'8" frame was as feisty and strong as grandmothers can be. And she never left her house without wearing lipstick. This is us dancing at my sister's wedding at her zesty age of 82.
Her stories and family history are so thick with adventure and scandal and illness and death that she could've written a fascinating novel based on the events and family members in her life. The same hands that held me tenderly through all my years, a year ago, I was holding dearly, sitting and observing sacred ground as she waited by Heaven's door. She died peacefully in her sleep hours later. I'm so incredibly grateful for her presence in my life. Grandmothers are special.
She left a legacy of tender love for her family and friends, of trust in a God who sees her, loves her, knows her name and walked beside her. Of unshaken faith even when things were painful and unclear. She had a contagious playful spirit that all who knew her adored.
For decades, whenever we would hang out, which was often, we would be talking about day-to-day life, and she'd say: "Tootie, these are the best days of your life." She'd been saying that to me for over 20 years. In every season of life.
I'm remembering one particular time she said this while my littles ran around us and I smelled like baby poo, had breast milk dripping down my shirt, chronically sleep deprived. She wanted me to see the precious moments of every season. Always reminding me of the gift of NOW. To see the glory and gratitude and gifts right in front of me all the time.
I’ve missed her a lot throughout the past year. I’ve even picked up the phone while making dinner or when I was commuting on a long drive and I'd start calling her, nearly forgetting she’s just not here. If you’ve lost a dear one in your life, maybe you can relate.
Throughout this past year, the memories of my grandmother have had me thinking about my older wiser self and how I can use her as my compass. So on this anniversary of remembering and celebrating dear Marge, I thought I’d share what I started doing that has helped recently guide my life.
I imagine myself at 95, having lived a great life. Not a 95-year old cranky woman who is rough and tough to be around. No, a 95-year old who is sweet and spicy with an incredible sense of groundedness, having lived a life without hanging on to regret. A life with connection and playfulness and adventure, faith and hopefulness. A life with joy, peacefulness, honesty, kindness. A life with grace and ease. A life with healthy boundaries that kept me from getting sucked into drama or negativity. A life not having followed other people’s rules and dreams, but having learned how to honor and respect my uniqueness and who I’ve been created to be. A life that is marked by nourishing thoughts and actions. A life that is truly genuine and thoughtful and overall very loving. Loving to myself, to my husband and our children and an overall loving and compassionate posture towards the world. A posture that inspires a vibrancy and resilience in others. Yes...a 95 year old woman like that.
And even though I've tripped up a ton this year learning to embody this (like daily), I look to my 95 year old self more and more. She's been a great guide for me. She's wise. She's teaching me about the life I want to live and extending so much grace where I've not quite learned it yet. She's helped me be discerning when I ask her:
Do I need to extend forgiveness here? Grace?
Did I do the right thing?
What do I need to do in this situation?
Should I say "Yes" or "No" to this?
Why am I still holding on to this conversation?
and on...and on.
The truth is within me and I'm using my older wiser self to help me see it. This is just another reason I personally love the 14-day Reset. I go through the Reset the same time as the women in the program because my life is busy, like many of the women who do the reset. I juggle a lot of hats. I extend and often times over-extend myself. Challenge my reserves, as well as my emotional and physical boundaries.
The Reset is an opportunity to guide me back to the basics and to make sure the foundational things in my life are keeping me nourished. My meals. My thoughts. My mindfulness. My intentions. My conversations. Wisdom and clarity. Space. Boundaries. And so on.
So....as you imagine your 95 year old self. That sweet and spicy, vibrant and loving woman. The one who has lived a nourishing and flourishing life.
What would she say to you today?
What do you need to hear from her?
How can she help you make decisions to live your most nourishing flourishing life?
Are there things you need to let go?
Does your 95 year self worry about what size she is? The number on the scale?
How does she want you to feel inside yourself?
And would this Reset help guide you back to the things that matter most? Guide you back to the basics as you consider how you want to live this one wild and precious life?
If so, come join me here. I'd love to journey with you.