My maternal grandparents are 99 and 93-years of age. Respectfully, my grandfather being the elder. I chose to spend this Saturday with them, as one of my New Year’s resolutions was to spend more time intentionally with family.
My grandmother has early onset of dementia and diabetes. My grandfather just underwent a hip replacement; however, otherwise in amazing health. In fact, at 99-years-old he still walks around the perimeter of the house to get in his exercise. Needless to say, both are at an age, simply in the thrust of their declining years.
I decided to use the day offering my grandmother with a home manicure and pedicure. As I held her hands, I noticed the wrinkles in hers (and mine—I really need to stay out of the sun!!). When I was painting her toes nails, I realized where I got mine! It was rather a cool realization of genetics.
My grandparents have an amazing love story and history of migrating from the Philippines to Hawaii. My grandfather came from a family of wealth owning acres of farmland in the Philippines. My grandmother, from the city and a less fortunate family, found herself on my grandfather’s land with many others to escape the landscape of war that hit the land during the WW. While on my grandfather’s property the two fell in love and the rest is history.
My grandmother has always been a beacon in the community using her leadership to advance various causes in education, politics, cultural awareness, and church. A dedicated educator for over 30 years she taught valuable lessons to hundreds of students with disabilities. Early in my career, I was fortunate to have taught with her!
I recall interviewing my grandmother for a high school class, some time long ago. I remember asking her for one word that described herself. She chose the word “service.” Her answer has and still leaves an impression as she explained as Jesus did, she too wanted to serve. As I held her hands carefully inspecting the deep lines that covered it, I felt a sense of honor and privilege for this moment in time. I realize my time with my grandparents isn’t very long. I pray the lines on my hands will carry the legacy my grams has established and will soon leave on my own.