This last week, week and a half, completely took my family, me especially by surprise.
On Saturday, February 12th, we were on our way to Primary Childrens for Baylee's monthly infusion when the neighbor called to see if we were home because there were police cars and eventually fire trucks and ambulances. Uhhhh, no.....not home, except for grandma.
I'm going to keep a long story short because this part isn't the point of my post. Grandma had a mild stroke. She actually started improving Saturday afternoon, but by Saturday evening, started going downhill a little bit. Sunday morning Grandma had taken an obvious turn for the worse and we called all the family to gather. Grandma was able to issue the Do Not Resuscitate order herself that day. And she stayed awake until the whole family made it to see her. Everyone that couldn't come, was able to to talk to her on the phone.
Early Monday morning, Valentines Day, grandma had slipped into a coma. And late that night she passed away and was reunited with my grandpa after 32 years. It was beautiful, it really was. Ohhhhh, how I am going to miss her, but not for long, we'll be together again.
Now, the point of the post. As my family spent time together, going through documents, making phone calls and mourning our loss, I learned a few lessons. Lessons that need to be shared.
1. When you talk to someone, make sure they have your full attention. When you give someone your full attention, they feel like they are the only person in the world to you. Grandma had such a gift for that. It didn't matter which one of her children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren she was talking to, when she talked to us....nothing else mattered.....Just us.
2. Compassion is learned, more importantly it can be magnified. This ties in pretty heavily with number one. I talked to so many people that told me how much they loved my grandma. They all said that she laughed with them and cried with them and that she was always there when they were in a tough spot and needed some words of encouragement. Part of compassion is being available. It doesn't matter how much you support someone, if you don't make an effort to be there. And being there sometimes means a note, a call, a hug or an even simpler touch that acknowledges someone's presence. Again, grandma was SOOOOO good at this. I think it helped that she loved to chat, but even if she didn't....when she gave of herself....she gave her whole self.
3. A sense of humor is a terrible thing to waste. I guess I come by it naturally....but grandma has taught us all how to laugh at ourselves, and there is nothing wrong with that. A little self-deprication goes a long way. Laughter is the best medicine and in the middle of trials and tribulations, nothing makes it more difficult for Satan to creep in and take over than laughter. Laughter soothes the soul, brings people together and forges bonds stronger than any other. Laughter through tears develops your heart and soul and puts them through the refiners fire. Strength comes from the ability of have emotion, as long as it's a balanced act.
4. When you find your talent....SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!!!! Grandma had a huge gift for working with special needs individuals. She brought so much life and light to so many. My brothers Bishop told him that special needs individuals are the way they are because they were the Generals in Heavenly Fathers Army. They worked with Arch Angels to bring forth His work, and this was the only way to protect them from Satans influence. How beautiful. And what kind of beautiful individual to see the worth, value and beauty of these individuals.
5. Live well, laugh often and love much. Who could be a better example of finding joy in seas of turmoil than my grandma. She did amazing things with very little and used every asset and gift Heavenly Father gave her to make the world a brighter place for everyone. She loved freely and without condition, and just wanted to make the world a little bit better for everyone.
There are so many lessons, and so many gifts that my grandma gave me and many, many others. I was and am a very, very lucky girl to have been privileged to not only have known her, but to have her be my grandma!
Marion Tanner Peters
March 21, 1925 to February 14, 2011
Thank you Grandma....for everything.