They say that only the good die young. My grandma was one of the most special person I have ever known, and probably will ever know.
She was the woman everyone loved; whether they had known her for a second or for years; my gran would touch everybody's heart.
She had an aura about her like no other; she was calming, sensitive, and was courageous and so giving of herself that she would forget about herself.
You see, my grandma gave until she had nothing left to give
She lived every day for everyone else and not a single day for herself.
The day after she died, I remember saying to myself: “If I could be half the woman that she was, I would have accomplished something good.” But in hindsight I have come to realise that perhaps the true accomplishment would be to become the woman who achieves the right balance – a balance between giving of herself and giving to herself.
From a very young age my granma taught me to do unto others as I would have them do unto me; that forgiveness is letting go; and that patience is a virtue.
One could say that these teachings are precisely what my grandma was
She had the utmost patience for everyone, was forever loyal and always forgiving no matter how severe the crime. All admirable and rare qualities in a human being. But where does one draw the line? When do we say to those around us “I love you, but it's time for me now,” or “You know what, it's not okay and I won't let you treat me like that?"
As women, we are genetically engineered with an instinct for nurturing; an instinct for tending to those around us before tending to ourselves
And we give into this instinct all the time, no matter what the consequences and often to our own detriment. Some would call it compromise. But when does making sacrifices for the ones you love become sacrificing yourself? There is a fine line.
My grandma crossed that line. She sacrificed herself...
...her own happiness and health in her noble and hard attempts to make sure that her family was okay, no matter how they treated her in return. She lived a very happy life, always making others happy.
When people ask me what killed her I can honestly say that the love she had for her husband despite having her children, grandchildren and great grand kids, she wanted to be with the man she loved and that loved her…. TRUE LOVE
She gave it all away and had nothing left to give back
And it's through stepping back and looking at her life that I have figured out who the woman I want to be is: the woman who values herself as well as those around her.
· The woman who is grateful for who and what she has in her life; but at the same time does not forget that she has what she has because of the person she is.
· The woman who takes time to reflect on herself and her achievements.
· The woman who will not apologise to anyone, even her family, for who she is.
· The woman who will not change her views and values to accommodate others, but rather be open to adapting to the situation.
· The woman who looks after herself so that she can look after others. The woman who does not judge, but may disagree. The woman my granny taught me to be.
When I think back to her funeral I remember how touched I was at the huge turnout; Some who knew her, some who never met her; some who had been in my life for five minutes and some who had been in it for years; some I hadn't seen for years and some I saw the day before; even some I had never met before.
It's moments like these that make you realise you are not alone in the world; that it's not all for nothing; that life has meaning; that there is an abundance of joy to be experienced.
What I learnt from my grandma (her life and her death) is that I am a truly blessed human being
I am surrounded by wonderful people; people who love me, who care for me; people who want the best for me; people who accept me for the woman I am. We all have these people in our lives; they are there, just look for them.
It's because they love us for who we are that it's important to take care of ourselves; they will miss us when we're gone. Realise that, by taking care of you, you are still taking care of them. When you're happy, they're happy.
So go for that massage, take that yoga class, join the gym – look after yourself! Because it's you that they love because you love yourself. Be the woman you’re taught you to be; the woman who is loved and respected because she loves and respects herself.