If she were still alive, my grandma would have been 100 today.
The last few days, I’ve been thinking about how much I miss her and also about all of the things we did together and how much she taught me, even when I didn’t know what lessons I learned.
I’m fortunate to come from a long lived line, so we had Grandma until she was 92, long enough to see me married, but not long enough to see my first child.
She taught me about business, even when I didn’t know I was learning lessons. One of my best learned lessons was the cost of business, the overhead that can “steal” your profits. If your curious about this lesson, please see Our Lemonade Stand – in which Grandma used this ubiquitous rite of passage to teach us that the cost of business isn’t free.
This is the same woman who announced when I was 18 that I didn’t have enough culture so this 78 year old woman was going to take 3 teenage granddaughters to Europe for a month. We were the only ones on our tour bus who weren’t surprised that she kept up with our entire group through 11 countries. I don’t think it ever occurred to three of us that she wouldn’t.
She taught me other things I didn’t even know were social lessons until years later. She was a part time, substitute kindergarten teacher who used her earning, what my grandfather called her “pin” and “curtain” money, to play the stock market. She then took her “winnings’ and used them to make down payments on several properties throughout Southern California. She was an investor, but I didn’t know that. I just learned that it was smart to put your money in real estate.
She taught my mother that she could do whatever she chose. As a result, my mother started her mortgage company in 1976. Between the two of them, it never occurred to me that there was a glass ceiling or that I couldn’t do whatever I chose to do if I was willing to work to succeed.
In addition to the life lessons, there are other memories. The two of us curled up on the couch in the living room, reading books, trips to the library, walks on the beach, baking cakes and travelling throughout Europe, seeing things that I had only read about previously.
I miss her, and though I know it was her time, my life has never been the same without her. I’m just grateful she was here as long as she was and that I had so many years with her.
For those of you who still have your grandparents, I hope you spend as much time with them as you can, and for those of you who are grandparents, know how important you are and how much the time you sped with us is cherished.