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 Granny  Wisdom

My friend Rick’s grandmother passed away a few weeks ago at 94 years of age.  I wrote about her when her son (Rick’s dad) took ill a few years ago:

...unfortunately, Rick's dad needed a quadruple bypass, which the rural hospital near his parents' home was not equipped to perform. Within days, Rick and his mom were living in a small hotel room, more than 100 miles away from home, near the teaching hospital to which his dad had been transferred.

When Rick's grandmother, also known as Maw Maw, called from back home, she quickly heard the stress in her grandson’s voice and knew she had to help out. Within minutes, Maw Maw was on the phone, giving orders to the extended family in a voice so commanding that Rick swore he could hear her from two hours away.

By the end of that evening, aunts and uncles descended upon the hospital and created a "triage" team designed to support Rick and his mom as they cared for their patient. Maw Maw, of course, was on hand to oversee her supportive army of family members. She told Rick’s dad that when he was better, he would accompany her on her miles-long daily walk through the mountains. At 87, she would even slow her pace to accommodate her 67-year-old son.

This story is told to illustrate that sometimes, as a Fearless Caregiver, our job is to find that one person best suited for any particular task, and to step aside as she performs the magic only she can do so very well.

But Maw Maw’s lessons did not end when she passed, not by a long shot.  She wanted to make sure that the lessons that so inspired her life were not lost on her descendants.   She made sure that upon her passing, each member of her family received their own copy of the following letter:

“To my wonderful children that I love so much…Mom

While life lasts, it is good to remember that death is coming.

And it’s good that we don’t know when.

It keeps us alert, reminds us to live while we have the chance.

We should live our life to the limit every minute of every day.

Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows.”

-   Mom

Maw Maw is walking on greater mountains now, but I know that her lessons have been well received by all who are willing to listen.

Gary Barg


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