While there's already so much happening in the world, yesterday my grandmother passed away. With everything swirling in my head, there was no way I could write something new today. Instead, I'm sharing the tribute I wrote to her and posted on Facebook.
Claire Olson, my grandma, died yesterday. She was 84.
She had Alzheimer’s Disease. My grandpa cared for her at home the whole way.
Through the way she lived her life, she showed the importance of resilience, staying high energy, and making the most of your time on Earth with loved ones.
We always hear about her generation being money frugal.
And my grandpa recently told me about how my grandma had little stores of cash all around the house. When they wanted to go on a trip, she would say, "Oh I have the money for that." And she had some cash in an envelope to pay for tickets.
She was prepared.
But she was also time frugal. She got the most out of each day.
For example, the way she would leave a family gathering. She would say “OK” or “alright” and then get up right then, say goodbye to everyone, and leave with my grandpa. She knew when things were over, and then she moved on to the next thing.
She had that extra bit of urgency that so many people lack. My Aunt Trish called her a "dynamo," and that's the perfect word.
Although you wouldn't know it from looking at her, my grandma was also ahead of the culture in many ways.
She was living the health trends of today...decades ago.
She was a runner before people put stickers on their cars.
She did yoga and meditation before it was for CEOs and soccer moms.
She was eating organic vegetables before Jeff Bezos had ever heard the term “Whole Foods.”
Between her family, exercise, volunteering, cleaning, reading, and more…She had the energy to get the most out of life. So it worked for her.
With all that said, she also made delicious cookies.
Some of my best memories with her are seeing her at Christmas. She’d be in a Christmas sweater. And she and my grandpa would make lots and lots of delicious cookies.
Lastly, I want to tell you about what happened when she began to suffer from Alzheimer’s.
Each time that I saw her or talked to her, I thought: this is the last time she'd be really "there."
As she got further into Alzheimer’s, but before it was really advanced, she opened up. She would tell me about how grateful she was for our family. She would say “I love you” more. She seemed like the happiest, most relaxed version of herself.
And she also expressed all of these feelings to my mom, too, which I’m grateful for.
It seemed like a silver lining. During a time when we were losing my grandma, she was at her warmest. It felt good to hear her say these things. Especially when it was clear that the end of her life was near.
It made me believe that at her deepest core, she was happy, satisfied, and full of love. And isn’t that how we’d like to be at the end of our lives?
Rest in Peace, Grandma. I love you.
Thanks for reading,