Here are ten things I learned from my grandparents!
1. Grandma and grandpa were beautiful and pure at heart, and no hardship could ever make them otherwise. Grandma and grandpa have lived through famine, war, illness, poverty and great crises without losing their optimism, kindness and trust in others.
2. Grandma and grandpa had hope, and, most importantly, they never lost it. Grandma and grandpa knew that the universe (= God) is taking care of them and that one day each of us will be rewarded according to what we deserve, what we think, what we say and what we do (a kind of law of anticipated attraction).
3. Grandma and grandpa had unconditional kindness and love. Grandma and grandpa knew how to love everyone properly: those in the family, relatives, close relatives, neighbors, and those who needed them. They always had a kind word and a spoonful of food for everyone in need.
4. Grandma and grandpa had the courage to accept things, situations, pain and illness. They possessed a wisdom and dignity I did not understand for years, and their usual “if God wants it so” made me gnash my teeth.
5. Grandma and grandpa had big hearts. Grandma and grandpa have taught me that everything has a soul. And they put their own souls into in everything they did, and into everything that came out of their hands.
6. Grandma and grandpa had the tolerance and the power to see only the good in others. Grandma and grandpa have taught me that no one is entirely bad.
7. Grandma and grandpa had land and love for it. It was theirs, but not really. It was God’s first of all, just like everything that grew on it. They taught me to love the land, but then they didn’t really succeed, because I dreamed to run to the city and rather draw grapes on the asphalt than work on the fields in the hot summer sun. Today, more and more, I feel a force that secretly wants me to be more comfortable with working the land.
8. Grandma and grandpa were taking care of each other and of others. For days, weeks, months, years, decades they have been remembered with love in the family, in the church, in the cemetery, in the thoughts, in the tears and in the smiles.
9. Grandma and grandpa had respect for food. Grandma and grandpa have taught me to love “clean” food, the garden and nature. When they ate meat, they taught me to apologize to the slaughtered animals and thank them for their sacrifice. They taught me to respect the earth because it is the only one that remains behind us and will serve the next generations.
10. Grandma and grandpa had love for life. Always. They wanted to live and enjoy life even at old age, when living was no longer as easy and joyful as in their youth. Grandma and grandpa were thinking about the future, but they were living in the present. They didn’t not complain and din’t waste their days thinking about “what ifs”, or planning their lives 30 years ahead.
I remember them sitting on the bench in front of the house, and talking to each other, “What are we going to do, John, from now on?” “What should we do, Maria? What we’ve done so far, just a little better.”