• Lisa Paul IBCLC

Almost doesn't count

Have you ever wondered what your grandkids are going to remember about you? Tomorrow I am heading up to Michigan to say goodbye to my 95 year old grandma. Her health is failing, she is depressed because she doesn’t understand why no one visits, and she definitely is not a fan of masks. While these are the defining moments now, these pieces are not what I will remember about her.

Almost doesn’t count In my childhood, my grandma used to respond to my “but I almost won” at Kings in the Corner, with “Almost doesn’t count” as she scooped up the kitty of pennies she just won. There were no participation trophies in this family, you had to earn your pennies fair and square. I am sure I got mad when I lost and probably protected pennies more than I should but I will never forget playing cards with my grandma and her sisters.

The Grandma Legacy

As a grandma myself, I cannot help but think what my grandchildren will remember about me. Right now, not much since the one I have is only one , but in the future what odd phrase or lesson am I going to pass on? Is she going to grow up loving the juicer I have at my house and my funky tart concoctions with lots of lemon juice? Am I going to be the grandma that does yoga, eats hummus and carrots and rides a bright pink bike? Yes, that is me but is that what she will remember about me as we both get older?

Most of my grandma memories happened in my younger years, because I moved out of state in my late teens. I would come back to visit but I never really got to know my grandma as an adult. I will grieve that later I am sure but for now I will treasure the memories I do have. I remember going to a Herbie movie with her when I was really young. I helped to make pasties, a family traditional food from her roots in the U.P. of Michigan. I remember that she broke her arm rollerskating and again when she fell off her couch (while standing) and never lived that down. I also remember lying on that couch when I had chicken pox and couldn't go to school. And I also remember that their house had a laundry chute. I always wanted to put something down that chute!

I am planning to make it past 90, and have thought about what it is that I want to leave behind as my grandma legacy. It is in my genes to live to be older than 90. All of my grandma's sisters surpassed 90, and the oldest lived to 99. My grandbaby will be 41 when I am 90. I have 40 years to make memories with her, and influence her life in the way that is uniquely me. I am working on living a life that is an interesting story for her to tell, of adventures I had, accomplishments I achieved so that when she reflects back on my life she is inspired to make her own grandma legacy.

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