It is impressive you can pack so much feistiness into a five-foot-tall woman, but God did just that when he made Nana.
She may be 83 years old, but she still insists on shoveling her own driveway and has a busier social calendar than I do. She has traveled to various parts of the country—sometimes solo—throughout her lifetime. Nana has more than 80 years of life experience, and I find myself learning more and more from her as time goes on. Here are some of my favorite lessons from Nana.
The simple things are the big things.
During a recent visit, I asked Nana what her favorite memory was. I figured that she would talk about a big moment in her life. Her wedding day, birthdays, a grand trip . . . you know, the big stuff. Nana’s favorite memories in all of her 83 years? Camping with her family. Nana and PopPop purchased a camper when their two sons were growing up. They loaded into it on a regular basis. Years passed, and eventually, my husband joined in when he was just a little boy.
Her answer served as a real-life reminder that the important things are not grand nor expensive. That a quiet summer night surrounded by your family creating memories is what becomes your favorite. It turns out when we reflect on our life that the simple moments are the big moments.
The bond of sisters is infinite.
Nana pushed her older sister’s chair closer to the table to reach her dinner just as I have seen my own daughter do for her sister a hundred times before, and I was struck by the endless connection of sisters.
I watched as Nana and her sister bickered, laughed, and told each other like it is, forgoing any sort of filter. They laughed with their heads close together as they spoke of distant memories while leafing through an album of faded photographs. A reflection of my sister and I leaned close together, laughing until our bellies hurt and our eyes filling with tears of joy.
The bond of sisters is unbreakable. It is not limited by time, age, or distance. Sisters protect. We fight. We laugh. But above all we love.
Never stop viewing the world through the eyes of a child.
Nana may be in her 80s, but she has never stopped viewing the world through the eyes of a child. We found ourselves at the playground during a recent family walk. My daughters sprinted to the open swings, demanding to be pushed. All of the adults (including myself) took positions on the bench or took on the job of pushing the tiny bosses. Except Nana. She also hightailed it to a swing. I followed her lead, taking a seat on the swing beside her. Soon Nana was challenging me to see who could swing higher.
She didn’t stop at the swing. Throughout the weekend she attempted to drive a child-size ATV and my daughter’s bicycle. She then admitted that she never really learned how to ride a bike, and so we had to draw the line on anything with wheels.
As the years pass, I hope I never lose the playful, childlike perspective of life. That I am always drawn to the magical as much for myself as for my children. That I never take life so seriously that I can no longer see the fun in it. That when I grow old and am surrounded by my great-grandbabies that I run to the swing, feel the wind in my hair, push myself higher, and fly.
Originally published on the author’s Facebook page