I've Been Lucky

There is one thing that I wake up thankful for every single day.  I am proud to say that as of this moment I have not lost a close family member.  I've had great grandparents that have passed which was hard and one of my cousins died in an accident when he was four but it was before I was born.  Right now I still have all my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, etc.  I have a feeling that very soon this is going to change.

My dad texted me earlier and told me that my Granny had another stroke.  This will make her 8th stroke of the year, one major and 7 minor.

Why is she having so many strokes?  Because my grandmother has never taken care of herself.  She's smoked since she was 15 years old, never worked out a day in her life, has never eaten healthy, and the only movement she ever did was cooking and when she needed to get up to go to the bathroom or change the channel on the television set.  She is basically killing herself.

Sadly my grandmother and me have never been close though I wish we were.  I think I'm so much like her in a lot of ways that it annoys her for some reason.  She always calls me a "smart a**" and usually gets frustrated when I don't agree with her about something.  She lives a few hours away so we only see each other at holidays but the last few times I've seen her she's not that spit fire I've always loved.  It's like the woman I've always known is disappearing and she is becoming a shell of who she once was. I know my grandmother loves me.  I've only heard her tell me a few times but its one of those unspoken things.

Photo: Zazzle

Seeing her go through this deterioration this past year has made me realize a few things.

#1  It's important to take care of yourself

The whole family used to smoke back in the day but over the past 30+ years everyone has quit with the exception of my grandmother.  She truly loves to smoke.  Period.  We all have told her to quite but she doesn't want to.  She has pretty much given it up slowly this past year but the damage has already been done.  I see what she's going through and know I don't want to be that person.  I want to be in my early 70's and still being up and active like my mom's parents are.

#2  We all have a time limit

I am horrible about not keeping in touch with people.  I tend to let the busyness of my life keep me from things that truly matter.  Times like this are a perfect reminder to keep your priorities straight and remember that no one and nothing is going to last forever.  It's important to make the time to be with the ones you love.

#3  I will always have the memories 

I have so many fond memories of my grandmother.  Oreo cookies and Dimetapp cured any and all ailments.  Pepsi (which I hate) was the only soda my grandparents ever kept in the house.  Memories of weekends at the lake house in Lake Whitney, backyard barbecues, and talks with my grandmother about books or forensic shows (she's a reader and a huge forensic fanatic like me).  Her taking me clothes shopping for no reason and making me feel special.  Just thinking about it all makes me tear up.

No matter if she passes soon or if its years away I will always love her and will always feel lucky I've had all my grandparents this long.

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