On Life

Thinking about life | happyfitmama.com

Hey there!

Remember me?

I kind of dropped off the blogging radar since Friday. In all honesty, the blog was the farthest thing from my mind. I was completely exhausted come Monday afternoon when I finally made it back home after spending the weekend in Michigan for my grandma’s funeral.

Actually, the whole month of October was nothing but a whirlwind (and not in a good way). It started off strong after Rise.Run.Retreat but then slowly crumbled with being sick from a sinus infection for three weeks. My desire to blog was gone because I felt like crap. And now it’s November. How did that happen?!?!

When I did make it back home to New Hampshire, I only wanted to hug and kiss my kiddos and Ron. I missed them tons. And I think they missed me. Or at least Ron did. He told me I can’t leave again for a long, long time.

Over the weekend I was submersed into death and grieving. My job, for most of it, was to be the task master. Someone to make sure my mom and aunt plowed through their endless to-do list of putting things in order after my grandmother’s death. This was quite laughable since I have a knack for procrastination. Nonetheless, I tried as best I could. I’m glad I could help in some way.

This was the first time I have ever been really involved with what happens when someone dies. I’ve had other family members pass away but I’ve never really paid attention to all the details. Or maybe I just didn’t want to know?

From canceling credit cards to figuring out what to do with all of the years of stuff that can accumulate in one house. It’s amazing what you can find. And how letting go can be hard. I’m not a sentimental person but I even found it hard to get rid of some pictures that sparked a memory from years ago.

It’s ironic that I learned life lessons in the process.

Stuff is stuff. Holding on to things that have meaning to you will not mean anything once you are gone. Memorabilia will not have the same meaning to your family. Mental memories, most of the time, are enough.

Take the trip. Some of the best recent memories of my grandma are from trips. After my grandpa passed away 11 years ago, my mom and aunt made a point to travel with my grandma. They went on so many cruise’s, to Vegas, the Smokey Mountains and trips to visit the grandkids all over the country. Traveling is expensive. I know I’ve used that excuse many times. But making those types of memories are priceless.

Get in the picture. Who’s usually taking the pictures of the kids, grandkids, etc? The moms and grandmas. My grandma loved to take pictures. And was known for cutting people’s heads off. But nonetheless, she always had her camera handy. Don’t be afraid to be in a picture by yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask the stranger to take a family photo for you. Do it.

There’s a first time for everything no matter what your age. My grandmother got on a horse for the first time at age 80. She went white water rafting for the first time in her 80s. Age is not an excuse. If you want to do something or the opportunity arises, do it. Never say I’m too old.

Prepare. It’s not easy to talk about death. But it’s even harder when there isn’t a plan for your wishes after you are gone. My grandma had things in order but there were still things that were in question. It also made me realize that Ron and I need to get a Living Will done ASAP. Of course, I thought of this as I was saying a thousand Hail Mary’s while we dropped, swooped and bounced in the teeny tiny airplane I took from Chicago to my parent’s house in Michigan. Let’s just say 8 seater planes are not for those who have a fear of flying. Especially when the pilot and copilot turn on the cabin lights mid flight so they can read a manual. And yes, there was NO door to the cockpit. The passengers had a view to everything that was going on up there.

Drink the champagne. Or the bottle of scotch, wine, etc. We found 4 bottles of unopened champagne in my grandma’s basement. They were all from some special occasions (weddings maybe?) and being saved for another special occasion. Guess what? Champagne goes bad. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Drink it because it’s a day ending in ‘y’. Believe me, you do NOT want to even smell bad champagne!

Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud.

What life lessons have you learned lately?

What’s the smallest airplane you’ve ever been in?




17 comments on “On Life

  1. This is so so so true.
    I learned similar when I lost my grandmother and Im….not afraid but AWARE I will need to relearn when I lost my own parents.
    So far in my own life Ive only succeeded in implementing the STUFF IS STUFF piece.

    1. The thought of what it will be like when I lose my own parents has been popping up more. I’m sure it’s a whole other set of life lessons. Much harder life lessons.

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss and having to endure such a stressful weekend…not the least of which was that plane ride from hell! OMG!!! Anyway, I unfortunately dealt with this at age 17 when my mom died but, fortunately, I learned ALL these lessons and more. I take so much pride and happiness in traveling, opening expensive wine for no real reason and getting in the damn picture 🙂 I love that you took all of these away with you as they will create a fuller life for you and your family and what grandma wouldn’t want that? xoxoxo
    Allie recently posted..My Favorite Mental Preparation Trick for Race DayMy Profile

    1. I thought a lot about you over the weekend. Not only because of the plane ride from hell (WWAD – What would Allie do?) but how you lost your mom at such a young age. I know your mom is so proud of you and the way you have embraced life and lived it to the fullest. xoxo

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss but so glad that you were able to be there with your family and have these wonderful memories of your grandmother. And these lessons offer so much in the way of making our lives full. Thank you for sharing them and lots of love to you. xo

  4. This made me both laugh and cry as i lie in bed thinking about my mom and all the things I should have said and done over the years . Thank you for being there to help and support us . I would like to add one more thing to your list and that is to tell your people how much they mean to you. Don’t be afraid to show emotions. And so now I will get my butt out of bed (it’s after 9 and I can’t tell you he last time I have stayed in bed like this) and start my day. Thank you for the inspiration . Love you , Sharlene aka the list maker

    1. Even though you didn’t say or do the things you felt you “should” have done, grandma knew. She was a special lady who gave us all so much. Especially our good sense of humor. 🙂 Love you too!

  5. This is all so true. Sorry to hear about your grandma. It’s never easy. 🙁 My husband’s parents passed away within 10 days of each other so we had a lot of things to go through (both financially, and physical belongs). It is overwhelming. Amazing how much stuff we hang on to. I’m just as guilty of this as anyone else.
    I’m glad you are back home – I’m sure they missed you a ton!!
    Lisa @ TechChick Adventures recently posted..Halloween happenings… the recapMy Profile

  6. I’m so sorry for your loss and the stressful trip – especially that plane ride! A small plane is the last thing one needs when grieving. I lost all my grandparents at a young age (8-19) and learned some of these lessons then. My grandpa and grandma went on cruises and he swam up until chemo rather than becoming complacent with old age and that left on mark on me. Life is too precious to not take that trip, climb that mountain, or drink that expensive Scotch! Sending you hugs and prayers!
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted..A Long Distance Runner’s Guide to Racing the 5KMy Profile

  7. Thank you for being the task master this weekend. The most important thing I learned from my dear mother passing was that life is short and we need to realize what is important in life. We need to be there for family and make the most of the one life we live. Love you with all my heart, my daughter. I don’t tell you that enough.

  8. Ugh, what a rough month. And for it to end with saying goodbye to your grandma- I’m so sorry!

    I appreciate your reflections… my mom is always about getting photos every time we’re all together and it becomes annoying but it’s so true that we will want those some day!

    1. In talking with my cousins about our favorite memories of grandma, looking at all of her photo albums, was high up on the list for all of us.

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