Merry Christmas everyone! I’m sure most of you are absent from the blogoverse today, so I’ll keep this short.
Today, I want to remember two people who I was close to and who are now with me in spirit. Specifically, I want to share the words that come to mind when I think about them.
My grandmother (on my dad’s side) lived close to me when I was growing up. I saw her all the time and she was there during the hardest moments of my childhood. One day, I lamented the fact I was ‘too nice.’ I told her I was too nice and allowed people to step all over me. I wished I could yell, scream or push. I wished I could do something with enough force that no one would step on me, but I didn’t want to be mean. This is when my grandmother said to me.
“Out of all the flaws a person could have, being too nice doesn’t seem like such a bad one.”
Her words have had more and more meaning as I’ve grown up. The world could indeed use more people who are ‘too nice.’ Those people don’t know the power they have. I’m sure someone thought Nelson Mandela was too nice when he forgave those who imprisoned him in order to further peace and equality in South Africa. Some people have said the current Catholic Pope is ‘too nice’ towards people who don’t follow the churches teachings. Yet, that kindness can change the world. I hope I never forget my grandmother’s words.
My grandfather (on my mom’s side) lived farther away, but that side of the family was always together. Because of him and my grandmother, I always had a house full of aunts, uncles and cousins when my family visited. I remember him being quiet, but other family members remember him being very talkative. It wasn’t until his passing that I thought about how much he also listened to everyone around him. That’s something I can learn from.
The one and only time D met my grandfather was at a family reunion. He asked D about his job and listened closely as D told him about some of the technology he worked with. As we said our good-byes, he put a hand on D’s shoulder and jokingly said,
“If you stick around a little while longer, I might actually start to like you.”
Making a joke was a sign he liked D and it made me very happy. I think he thought D was a really smart guy and would treat me well. This sticks out to me because it was the only time he and D would ever meet. In that short time, he approved of him. Maybe that’s old-fashioned, but I feel really blessed that all of my grandparents were able to meet and enjoy D’s company.
I can’t say why these are the words that stick out to me. There are plenty of other conversations and memories I have of my grandmother and grandfather and I hold them all close to my heart.