Lessons from time spent with my 90 year old Nonna

When my mother called to ask if I would join her on a trip to visit my 90 year-old grandmother, without hesitation, I said yes and began to look forward to it.

Growing up on the east coast, I spent quality time with my Nonna but when my immediate family moved to Los Angeles when I was ten, our visits were not as often but were still filled with quality time whenever we saw each other, which was yearly. As she aged, my Nonna could no longer travel to us but I could still travel to her and have managed to get out to NY on average once every two to three years. Distance is an obstacle but I believe time spent with others is not about quantity but rather quality.

As I wait for my plane to board to return home, I’m reflecting on the past four days I’ve spent with my Nonna and how amazing it was to be around this lively ninety year-old Sicilian woman. And I learned a few things I’d like to share…

  • Age is but a number and does not define a person.
  • Being in the moment can be just sitting there, in a person’s presence.
  • See things for yourself before you form an opinion, regardless of what others tell you.
  • Love keeps you young and alive. Bottom line.
  • Family is a window to look into to help understand yourself.
  • Letting others be who they are is perhaps the best thing you can do for someone you love.
  • Making a 90 year-old laugh is one of the greatest joys I’ve experienced.

I wish so bad I could just take her home with me and let her breath the Pacific Ocean mist for her remaining days (though I think she has a looooooonnnng time to go!) but alas, that is likely not to happen as she told me she can’t travel and the rest of my family are there with her…

“In ever conceivable manner, the family is the link to our past, bridge to our future.”
– Alex Haley, author

 

 

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