About a week ago I learned that my grandma from my dad's side had passed away. Although I had expected this because she's 87 years old and she had been ill, it was still somewhat difficult to believe that she's not going to be with us anymore. Losing her just felt sad and a bit strange.
I still remember when I was little, about 15 years ago, my grandfather and her owned a small shop in a small town selling miscellaneous things on the roadside. Cab drivers would come and buy some food before they hit the road again. My brother and I always paid a visit there and although my grandparents were poor, they'd always encourage us to take lots of snacks before we go back home. My grandma was always very happy to see us and she's not afraid to show it. She's always had that innocence and simple way of life that makes her extraordinary. She always put others first, and I don't know of many that can be like her.
My grandparents weren't rich, but my grandmother always tried to help others out. When a person who was mute came to the store one time, my grandma took pity and gave him food for as long as the person was in the store. I am not sure how long this went on, but it was years and years. This is just one of the many stories of her generosity. These stories never cease to amaze me.
My grandma's passing away reminded me of a few things. First, you don't have to be a rich person to be able to give. You can give always, and at anytime. She didn't wait until she was more capable. She gave right away, and that made her happy.
Secondly, she wasn't afraid of being called stupid for showing kindness. She did those things because she thought they were the right things to do. Others say she's not street smart and my grandfather yelled at her many times but she kept up with her principles.
Thirdly, it is possible to lead a simple and fulfilling life. The most important thing is to not lose what makes us real human beings, and we should take pride in striving for those great qualities - honesty, integrity, compassion, and generosity.
I am sad that my grandma, who is an inspiration of mine, had passed away. In a way I'm glad that she's not suffering from illness, but somehow I selfishly hope that she's still around to show me her way of life. Then it dawned on me that I'm the (hopefully) new and improved version of her. She led her life and my father learned from her life examples and he passed them on to me. In a way, during the process of handing over one generation's teachings to another generation, the content is improved. I can sort of see how certain quality of mine came from her, and that's comforting. It's nice to know that she's with me in a way, through her teachings, although she's gone.
I hope I always remember the lessons she's taught me and live them out day by day to inspire others just as she would have if she were still around.