I hope you’ll allow me to be a bit personal today.

My Grandmother and I had a bond that I’m seeing more and more was more special than most girls with their grandmothers. We chatted on the phone for years, had slumber parties, shared recipes and confidences. About the time she needed more care and moved to a special home I also moved closer. I was able to go visit with her several times a month. We sang songs, made crafts, played cards, took a slew of selfies, laughed, and sometimes when I left I cried. Last year she passed away. Not only that, but it was on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving had always been my favorite holiday. I love the crisp but not freezing weather, the smell and beauty of the falling leaves, and the brief break from the every day. This year, as last, I will probably cry heaps of tears as I miss my dear Grandmother and the joy that she added to my life. Rather than focus on the sadness, though, I want to focus on one small example that my Grandmother set in the decades before her passing.

Me and my Grandmom, Christmas 2013.

Every year for Christmas she gave her children and grandchildren something that belonged to her. A silver candy dish, a spoon, a stool, some tools, a book, and the like. She knew she couldn’t take anything with her, and most she had no use for personally anymore. She took advantage of it by passing along the meaningful pieces. Sometimes she asked if it was something we wanted, sometimes she saw it as an heirloom. Not everything she owned was important though and she knew it.

That simple act set several examples. In gratitude of her life want to list several here for you too. I’m not going to expound on the statements because I want the statements to speak for themselves.

1. You can’t take it with you.

2. Someone will have to deal with what you leave behind.

3. It’s just stuff.

4. Enjoy relationships more than stuff.

5. Not everything is special.

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