Growing up, my sisters and I often spent the summers at my grandparent’s house on the Lake of the Ozarks. Those summers are some of my most cherished memories of my childhood. Grandma and Grandpa taught us to fish. Grandpa taught us to clean the fish and then Grandma taught us how to fry it up just right. We’d waterski, banana boat, cross the lake just to go to the candy store, and at the end of the day, while singing at the top of our lungs, we’d “bathe” in the lake off the dock, shampoo and all.
Grandma and Grandpa’s house was where it was at.
Looking back now as an adult, it’s a treasured gift to have such full memories of life with them both. Especially Grandma. She nurtured and loved us with everything she had. I was just one of her many grandkids, but you could have never convinced me she didn’t love me most. She made each of us feel like we were the most important people in the whole world. She was a small lady, but she loved SO big and strong.
“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” ~ Dr. Suess
As I prepare for our “Coco Vida GNO “ tonight, (Which is a girls night out style “Dia de los Muertos Celebration of Life and Chocolate”) memories of Grandma flood my mind. She’s been gone from this world seven years this month and I can still hardly believe it. I know that’s in part because she’s not really gone.
She lives on in all of us.
The image above is from her visitation when my sisters and I said goodbye to her body. It was such a painful moment for me. Given a choice, I certainly would have never been ready. Looking back now, feeling the loss of her physical presence still sends tears falling down my cheeks. But I can celebrate her life now.
More than ever, I can celebrate her life and the beauty of all she left behind.
Those four sisters? We carry her life, her spirit, in ours. Her life shaped ours in a million ways. Her smile, her laugh, her strong will, her deep love for God and others, they’re all a part of who we are. She lives on in us. She’ll live on in our children, and their children. She left us so much to celebrate.
“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” ~ Thomas Campbell
Whose life lives on in you?
Whose life will you celebrate on The Day of The Dead?
It can be pretty wonderful to think about.
to more love,
p.s. To celebrate Grandma, I’m posting a carousel of images remembering her, and her passing, on my Instagram today, if you’d like to see more.
p.s.s. We literally only have a few more seats to “Coco Vida GNO” tonight. Is one of them yours?