Whoa! Holy long time since my last post, Batman! I could make up all sorts of excuses as to why I’ve been so silent. I could tell you that I have a toddler who never ever stops moving. Or I could tell you that really there isn’t anything new to report so why bore you with the humdrum of toddler life. Or I could tell you that my co-conspirator in this blog (my husband) has been so swamped lately that he hasn’t had any time to even make my life look more exciting than it really is with a neat graphic. All of those would be true, but I don’t give excuses and you don’t listen to them, so what’s the point, right?
Amongst the many events that have occurred in my life over the last few months was the sudden passing of my grandfather. He passed away February 3 and my family is still reeling from the loss and will probably take a while in getting back into the swing of things. One day, I would love to tell you all about him and the ways he influenced my life but that is not what this post is for. This post is for my grandmother.
Beverly Ward is the grandmother to eight grandchildren and the great-grandmother to 3 (almost 4) great-grandchildren. She lives in Savannah on Wilmington Island and seriously, if you ever meet her, will probably tell you her life story. Or the life story of her mailman. My grandmother has been blessed with the gift of gab. I spent several summers with my grandparents on Wilmington Island growing up and my grandma made each of them uniquely special. She would find crafts for us to do. We would go shopping for hours. We would watch Nick at Night into the wee hours every morning. And while I love my grandmother dearly and enjoy every minute of her company, up until recently, I would tell you that I took a little more after my dad and my grandfather. I never really saw too much of myself in my grandmother. Let me clarify a little more: My grandmother is very nice. She never speaks an ill word of anyone. She thinks the best of everyone and has a gentle spirit. I tend to be the very opposite of every one of those qualities. But then, I saw it! Like magic!
Obviously, with my grandfather’s passing the family has made every effort possible to let my grandmother know that they are there for her. And in classic Ward family bravado, we have bowled her over with our “plans” for her life. And she has fought back (‘Atta girl, grandma!) She has made it known that she will be just fine, thank you, in her house on Wilmington Island. And while we are welcome to visit at anytime, there is no need to rearrange our lives just to keep her company. And while all of this is the glimmer of where I start to see my grandmother in me, here is the clincher: Upon leaving Savannah, I hugged my grandmother and told her that she should definitely do whatever it is she wants to do right now. And she looked me straight in the eye, and with only a small tear, she said, “I will be fine.” And all of a sudden, I knew exactly how she felt and I knew exactly where I came from. Because I know that I have said that very phrase throughout my life in various situations and to various people who have loved me. I said it to my parents when they were leaving my college dorm room for the first time. I said it to my friends when I was graduating college and had no idea what the heck I was going to do next. I said it to Greg when I went into labor with Levi. And each time I said it, I said it with the full conviction that it was true because it had to be true. I had no other choice but to be fine and therefore I was simply reminding myself of that fact. My grandmother was doing the same thing. She has to be fine. And there is no earthly reason why she will not be fine.
And you know what? She will be fine. She will be sad and she will be angry and she will be tired and she will laugh for no reason and she will forge a new path…and she will be fine.
Sometimes you just need to say it out loud to get it through your own head, you know? Deep breath. “I will be fine.” There. Now go forth and be fine, maybe even better than fine!