Thursday, September 29, 2011

Life is Beautiful.

Our sweet Grandma Vivian passed away this last weekend.

We were especially blessed because we were able to travel to see her twice this summer. With the hectic schedule of life and traveling with children, it felt so good to know that we all gathered together this last time.

When Tyler and I received the news, I was lying in bed not feeling well. Tyler lay next to me and we talked about Grandma. We were glad to know she passed peacefully, a much needed rest after the suffering she had been enduring. We were sad to realize it was also the weekend of their 67th wedding anniversary. 

But happy too. A perfectly serendipitous time to reflect on the magnificence of a life spent together for SIXTY SEVEN years. Wow. Tyler and I marveled a bit at the fact that life as we know it, a mere 27 years, was only about a third of their time spent together. We can't even comprehend it if we tried!

There is such a beauty to this cycle of life. Here I was lying down, my body literally creating the next generation. Grandma's life work is now complete, and she can rest and celebrate a life that leaves behind so many to continue on her legacy. Just like the seasons I love so much to observe and celebrate in nature, so is life. It's ebb and flow is both magical and heartbreaking and inspiring.

I like to think of what Vivian was like at my age. In fact, I am sort of fascinated by it. I think I annoy my in-laws on occasion with too many questions. She lived during the Great Depression, World War II, Vietnam, the first man on the moon, the name it. Stuff we only read about, she was a first hand witness to. There is a richness to her experience I can only imagine.

I wonder what she thought of us. Of this generation.  

She was always so gracious and kind, but I wonder: did she ever want to call us a bunch of ungrateful, money-hungry, entitled bunch of neenies? I would think that coming from an age before the invention of washing/drying machines, she would probably laugh at some of things I so easily complain about.

As I cleaned my house yesterday, I listened to the latest Relief Society General Conference addresses. In one discussion on living a life with charity, a scripture made reference to "silly women".
As I listened it struck me, am I too often a silly woman?
Do I worry about the dumbest things?
Am I too caught up in the act....the facade....the superficial?

I don't want to be a silly woman. 

I thought of the women who surround me in my life. The very models of charity. Wendy, who arrives every morning to get Lily and bring her to school so my mornings can be less stressful during this pregnancy. Summer, who calls regularly to see how I'm doing - always reminding me to call her at any moment and she will come help. Janet & Mitzi, who pick up my girls for a play-date simply so I can rest. Christie, who on a moment's notice teaches my Sunday RS lesson for me. Mary, who comes to my doorstep and refuses to leave until she has cleaned my bathrooms and floors. Debbie, who shows up armed with books and toys to read and play with my girls while I teach HER children piano. 

And each of the above mentioned have MORE children than me!

 And don't even get me started on my mother or mother-in-law, the pregnant hormonal fountains of emotion will just unleash and the tears won't stop flowing until sometime next week.

The list is endless, I could seriously go on forever. All of these women...all of these not silly (and yet remarkably FUN) women. I want to be like them.

I want to give back as much as has been given to me. I want a life as long and fruitful as Grandma Vivian's.

And mostly, I want at least sixty-seven glorious years here on earth with this guy, 

And beyond that: I am banking on eternity.


amy m. said...

Beautiful post Rae. I like the distinction between "silly" and "fun". You are most definitely not silly--one of the most substantial and thoughtful people I know--someone who I know will be looked up to by next generations. (And you are also seriously FUN! which is equally important.)

Joan said...

Exquisite writing, Rae. I echo your sentiments exactly.

Nonna said...

Rachel, It was so sweet of you to pay a tribute to Grandma Vivian. It is always hard when a family member passes but how wonderful that she was here for almost 87 years---most of those years were happy and healthy years. We love that you acknowledged her on your blog.
Love, Nonna

Hansens said...

Hey Rae, I found your Blog from "Little Family in a Big City" and I have been reading it for a half an hour and I am quite smitten by you;) Never change.