Elfi, my grandmother! "THE" light of my life! I miss her! I still think of her daily although she has been gone for 12 years. There has been no one that I have learned more from than anyone else in my life. Even today I learn something more from her.Elfi passed away just as I was coming into adulthood. She developed a cancer in her stomach. I was just out of my teen years when it happened. I feel cheated that I didn't have an opportunity to know my grandmother as an adult. I could have benefited so much more from her wisdom. The lessons I learned from her were all learned as a young adult and child. Regardless, I am thankful that she was my grandmother, and that I chance to know and love her the way I did. And that she has left such a lasting impression on me.
When she became ill I instinctively began to distance myself from her. When I should have been spending every minute with her. It was out of fear. I was so terrified of what it would be like without her. I guess backing away was my natural instinct to deal with her death. I honestly thought that if she were to die I may as well die with her because I wouldn't know how to live without her.
Life surprises you. Her death was actually a very beautiful death. Just like her life, perfect and sweet. She must have known that her time was limited. She called all of the family into her room, one by one, she had something special to say to everyone.
There were several things that my grandma and I spoke about that day in her room. Most of which have nearly been forgotten except for one thing. Over the past 12 years since her death, one message has stood out more than the rest. And I have felt a tremendous amount of pressure to fulfill this specific duty given to me from my grandmother. Maybe I misinterpreted her request. But I have felt such an obligation. Something for me to take care of in her absence. Something that no one else in the family was given or asked to do. The task was to take care of my mother and to watch over her because my grandmother hated my mother being alone. And honestly, for the past 12 years I have done a damn good job. But as perfect as I thought my grandmother to be, this task wasn't for me to take on. The task should have been given directly to my mother.
I love both my grandmother and my mother very deeply. But I have learned that no one is perfect. And no one should have to parent or take responsibility for someone else faults or shortcomings. Everyone has the opportunity to make decisions for themselves. I shouldn't be the one responsible for anyone else' happiness. My life is my own, and I sure as hell wouldn't want someone else in control of it!
Today, I respectfully lay my grandmothers burden to rest. And I stand up for myself. And simply love my family for who they are. There lives are there own and not for me to worry about or control. I am simply going to love.Without the burden of feeling guilty, pressured, or obligation. The other messages that my grandmother shared with me, the ones that have early been forgotten. I remember them now. Thank you Grandma, I am proud of me too!
My mother has always been a strong woman. And I know that she is in full control of her own destiny! Mom, you are a beautiful woman, whose generosity and love for her family is greater than her own love of self! I hope that one day you can see how amazing you are, with nothing left to prove or accomplish, being you is the best thing you could ever do for anyone else. Especially yourself!
My light is mine, mine to keep and mine to share. Respectfully!