“I have seen and touched and danced and sang and climbed and loved and meditated on a lifetime spent living honestly. Should it all end tonight, I can positively say there would be no regrets. I feel fortunate to have walked 90 years in my shoes. I am truly lucky. I really have lived 1,000 times over.”
Those are the opening lines of the final entry in my grandmother Zelda’s journal—a 270-page leather-bound journal she wrote small entries in almost every morning during the final decade of her life. In it, she reflected on lessons she had learned, lessons she was still learning, and the experiences that made these understandings possible.
When my grandmother was diagnosed with terminal cancer on her 90th birthday, I sat with her in a hospital room for the entire day, in silence, in laughter, in tears, and in awe. Although her body was weak, her mind was intensely strong. The terminal diagnosis inspired her to think about her life, everything she had journaled about over the years, and reflect aloud. So, I gave her the stage—my undivided attention—from sunrise until sunset.
As I sat beside her hospital bed, she [Read more…]