Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Year Has Passed

A year has passed since the passing of my dear grandmother. In her absence, I have reflected on her life, my life and the many lives that she touched. Although I ache for her, I know in my heart that my tears are selfish. She was a women of such accomplishment and had advanced to the ripe age of 84. Since her children lived far from her, she waited by the phone for her children to call and send their love. She also spent her days tending her garden and rummaging through her old family pictures. Bound to her house due to internal pain and unable to travel long distances to visit her children abroad, her spirit grew restless. Although she was always on our minds, other than short visits or brief summers in Jordan, she was alone. As her health derailed into an irredeemable state last summer, it was clear that she was ready to meet her maker. Her work was complete. I am grateful that I was able to spend two summers living and learning from her. Sometimes my greed gets the best of me and I wish that we had more time and that I was able to spend more summers with her. I know that I am blessed to have had her for that time.

After she passed, I started reading the obituaries section of the newspaper. I find the obituaries quite interesting because you get to read about the lives of others and what their families' felt was most significant about the life of their loved one. Usually, the family puts the birth date, major accomplishments such as academic and professional accomplishments, marriage, children, and sometimes something brief about their death or the end of their life. The obituaries remind me how simple and close death is to each of us and how it can take us at any time without notice.
As I read each obituary, I think of my family and wonder what they would write about me if I died today. Would they be proud of me? Would they miss me? Have I accomplished anything worth recording? Obviously these are all rhetorical questions that I never answer, but I wonder. Did I live my life with meaning and purpose? If I died today would my life be complete? I guess I will just have to wait and see.

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