Two days ago we took a trip across the state to see my husband’s 99 year old grandmother. When we arrived she was pretty much on her death bed. The nurse had just given her something to help her sleep so we weren’t able to do much that night. The next morning we went over to see her again. She was awake but not quite herself as was to be expected. There isn’t much you can do in situations like this other than listen. So my husband and I sat next to her and listened to her speak. Not everything she said was coherent or decipherable but it was all the same message; love. Baba talked about love. She told us how much she loved us and the rest of the family and what she thought made everyone so special. She didn’t talk about money other than to say that greed has caused far too many problems in our political system and in the world. She didn’t talk about fancy houses or cars, jewelry or clothing. Nope, none of that, just people, people she loved and people who loved her back.
The things this woman is leaving behind in this world are priceless. You can’t talk about Baba without mentioning Deda. Deda was her husband who passed before Steve and I were married. I only met him once but that was enough to see why he was so loved and admired by his family. Seeing him and Baba. together was an experience and an inspiration. In their 90s, these two were still very much in love. I remember sitting in a car with them and Deda saying how he never even looked at other women, Baba without any hesitation chimed in “that’s because your eyes are bad” we all laughed. That was the type of comical banter that they had.
These two loved each other. It was a special kind of love, love as it should be, unselfish, unconditional and timeless. Together these two served as examples for their grandchildren. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard Steve say “I learned this from Deda.” He learned how to build, how to fix, how to fish, how to behave, how to help strangers, how to respect others, how to treat women, all from Deda. The things he learned from Baba are just as valuable but they weren’t actively taught, they were learned from observation. Steve describes her as a peacekeeper and someone who he has never heard speak ill of anyone else. These things I think he has absorbed himself.
I write this blog for two reasons. One to share what I hope everyone learns before it’s too late; that the most important thing in this life is love and people, not material things. Your bank account isn’t a substitute for social interaction when you are living out your last days. Value your family and your friends. The second one is that I want my husband to know that their legacy lives on through him. He’s more than just my husband or the father to my kids, he is also my best friend, my rock, my therapist, my confidant, partner in everything and an amazing man in general. I see so much of both Deda and Baba in him every day. If we leave this world still in love, with nothing but two capable and well raised children we will have had all we ever needed. I’m happy to say so far so good.