Off The Mat: A Funeral

The reason I haven’t posted recently was due to a very surprising announcement that my husbands beloved grandmother passed away last weekend.  We had to drop all plans and board a plane to Atlanta to attend a funeral that I knew would be a powerful one.  This woman, who I met briefly on few occasions, left a legacy on her community and family.

The service was beautiful and many people showed up to pay their respects.  Her children spoke of her beauty both inside and out and many colleagues from her past life as a nurse and as a church goer also spoke.  She was a woman of very strong integrity, work ethic, and devotion.

While I did not have the opportunity to get to know her better I felt instantly inspired by who she was as a person.  A couple of inspirations came out of the service to me and they are:

1) BE BETTER:  Not as in be better ‘at my job’ – but be a better human.  Find a way to serve others and not just myself.

2) STOP COMPLAINING:  One of her colleagues from when she served as a nurse stated that regardless of what she was asked to do she put her head down and did it with pride.  She never complained about it.  I find that this is something I struggle with, and I complain about my complaining.  Either way, it’s not very productive.  So I have to be mindful of this and see if I can quiet those voices.

3) FAMILY FIRST:  Your family comes first – OVER your career, OVER your hobbies, OVER your ideas…cultivate what it is you want for your family – everything else comes second.

4) FAITH/SPIRITUALITY:  While I am not a religious person, but highly spiritual, I do believe faith or spirituality is critical in life. Particularly, as we age or deal with some hard hitting life changes.   Her strong faith and belief helped her overcome great losses in her life, including a leg.  Faith also provided her grace and dignity to move forward with her head held high.

5) EXERCISE:  Move your body. PERIOD.  Find excercise activities you find joy in and do them.  If you end up getting limited by an injury, etc…find another one.  We are only limited by what we limit ourselves to. Not only does exercise keep us strong and help us feel better – it helps us in recovering from illness and working through changes.  Jason’s grandmother lost a leg and still showed up at her workout center to focus on upper body strength so she should still do the things she loved – like cooking and gardening.

6) GET OVER YOURSELF- SHIT is going to happen…remove the “I” and just move into greatness with the ability to learn and evolve.

Our time is short-lived on this earth…we need to decide how we want to spend it and find the resolve within ourselves to get out of our own way and into the way of others who need it, whether it’s a work, in our community, or in our homes.  I thank Vera Mae Wells for inspiring me to be better…I only hope I can leave the impact on my family and friends the way she did.