My Kentucky grandmother has inspired me my entire life; though I lost her when I was only nine, she has never left me. I find myself thinking about her more often as I get older. I recently realized she was the age I am now when I was a small child snuggled in her lap. Wow.
At Moms Clean Air Force, we honor love of all ages. And we recognize that just as it is our job to protect our young, it is also our job to be sensitive to what especially harms the elderly.
Smog pollution hits the youngest and oldest lungs hardest. It is easy, and inexpensive, to stop it.
Let’s make sure our government sets strong rules on smog. We’ve gathered almost 14,000 comments in support of strong smog standards. If you’ve added your voice already, thank you. If you haven’t, won’t you help us reach our goal of 40,000 parents who support protecting our children and elders from air pollution
Here are my grandmother’s life lessons:
Love is the most important thing.
Every time I saw her, “I love you” was the first thing my grandmother said, and every time she said goodbye to me, “I love you” was the last thing she said. I never for one moment doubted that my grandmother adored me. How many people can you say that about? And so I ask myself: Am I doing the same for those I care most about, as often as possible? It matters.
Kindness is powerful.
My grandmother was meticulously sweet and courteous to everyone. Not just family, but everyone she encountered. That kindness expressed respect and compassion — and a desire to live in a world where the air we breathed was one of goodness rather than meanness. Honoring others can become the foundation for an entire way of living.
A quiet voice is the most persuasive voice.
I don’t remember ever hearing my grandmother raise her voice, and neither does my father. In his entire life. When she was annoyed her expression was gentle, but quite persuasive.
Why would anyone in their right mind waste anything?
Most of our Depression-era beloveds feel this way — and we should all live with the knowledge that all resources are precious. Why would you throw away perfectly delicious food? Why would you toss out a sweater that has a hole in it? Why would you run air conditioning — with the doors open? Why would you light up a room –and then leave it? Why would you throw money away? Focus on waste, and suddenly it makes sense to…conserve.
Use your hands to share your heart.
My grandmother created beautiful dresses on her sewing machine for me and my sisters. She baked wonderful pies and cakes. She knew how to darn socks, and she knew how preserve tomatoes to last through the winter. She knew how to kill a chicken by wringing its neck. But she knew how to raise that chicken, too.
She knew how to do things for herself — and for others. Every single day, those she loved could wrap themselves in her love.
Find time for prayer every day.
My grandmother was a deeply religious person. She found time every day to talk to God. Those conversations grounded her. She taught me the value of daily quiet time. We use “Time Out” to isolate children who are misbehaving — and that’s surely better than lots of other punishments. Even if we aren’t religious, we can give ourselves — and our children — “Quiet Time.” A daily few moments of introspection, peace, feeling our breath, or simply absorbing the beauty of the world around us.
I can never live up to the standards my grandmother set for me — and that worries me. But you know what she would say if I told her that? “I love you, sugar.”
We’d be delighted to hear from you — What have you learned from a beloved elder? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Thank you!