Life Lessons I Learned From my Grandma: Happiness Leads to Peace

Happiness is something that we all strive to achieve in our lives.  We spend much of our lives trying our best to be happy.  When it eludes us, we feel that we must be doing something wrong and when we do have it in our grasp, but it slips through our fingers, we desperately try to get it back.  Many times in searching for happiness we find that the search makes us unhappy.  We mistakenly believe that in order for us to be happy, everything in our lives has to be perfect.  We think that if one thing is not right, than we cannot be happy.  

When I think of happiness and being happy, I almost always think of my grandma and how happy I have felt when I have spent time with her over the course of my life.  When I think about what happiness looks like, I see her face.  That is not to say that other people, activities, and possessions do not make me happy.  I have been so blessed to have wonderful people in my life.  I have been blessed with activities that make me happy, and I have been able to acquire collections that have made me happy.  However, when I think of how to be happy and how to hold onto happiness, I think of my grandma.  

The happiness that she has felt for the majority of her life has sustained her through the trials and tribulations that we all face.  Through all of the storms of life, she has maintained her sense of happiness.  As many of you know, my grandma’s time on this earth is drawing to an end.  I can literally see her fading away.  I know that one day soon, she will no longer be physically present in my life. I have learned so much from watching my grandma live her life, and now I find myself learning even more lessons from her as she faces her death.  To say that she does not struggle daily with her weakened body would be untrue, but the one thing that continues to be a presence in her life is her happiness.  You see, my grandma learned long ago that life does not have to be perfect for us to be happy.  She learned that even in the darkest of times we can still experience happiness   I can see the happiness all over her face every time that I get to visit with her.  The happiness that she feels has given her peace over the current situation that she is facing, and in turn her happiness has given me peace. 

Since I have not lived as many years as my grandma, I struggle to maintain my happiness as I watch my grandma’s body weaken and her quality of life diminish.  To be honest, the sadness I feel is sometimes almost too much to bear.  I fight everyday to keep the sadness at bay, but it creeps in when I least expect it.  When this begins to happen, I look to my grandma to show me the way, just like I have for most of my life.  When I look to her, I am able to grasp some of the happiness that she still has and I know that one day soon, the happiness that she has had will be passed on to me.  

Often when we lose someone who has been so important to us on this earth we feel as if a part of us dies right along with them, but I have decided to refuse to look at it that way.  A part of me will not die with my grandma; a part of her will live on in me.  That is true for all of us who have lost someone dear to us.  When I think about it like that, it does help.  I know that my grandma’s presence will be felt in my life for as long as I live.  I know that the lessons I have learned from watching her will guide me as I live my life, and I know that I will pass those lessons on to others.  So you see, my grandma’s earthly body will cease to exist but her spirit and legacy will live on forever.  

As I have watched my grandma prepare for her death I continue to be amazed by her strength and faith.  As I have watched her say good-bye to people, I have seen the strength and wisdom in her eyes.  I have heard the words she has spoken and seen what they have meant to the people to whom she is speaking.  I too, have been told good-bye and I find myself repeating the words she spoke to me over and over again.  When I do this, I feel her strength and faith begin to fill my spirit, and I know that her words will always be with me.  

So you see, we can be happy when things are not perfect.  We can hold onto to the happiness that all of us have been promised even in the midst of the storm.  When we refuse to let the happiness escape from our spirits regardless of our current situation, we will feel better mentally, physically, and spiritually.  I have not attained this level of happiness yet, but I truly believe that I will get there one day.  We can all attain that level of happiness, the kind that does not fade away, if we put our trust in God and truly believe that His plan is perfect.  It will be difficult to do, but if we keep at it, we will get there.  True happiness that comes from God will help all of us experience peace and PEACE MATTERS!