I thought about my grandmother, who was one of the kindest people I've ever known. I realize that her own children knew her as a different woman. I'm not saying that she was a shrew or anything when she was younger but I just think that with age comes a certain ability to let things go quicker. By the time I got here, she'd raised her children and had settled into her life.
I think we're meant to be full of piss and vinegar when we're young. Shoot, when I was in my 20's I was tough as nails. That made it much easier for me to be a Sheriff's deputy. It also sustained the love I had for that job. I'd go toe-to-toe with anyone, if necessary. I didn't take crap off of anyone back then.
When my 30's came along I began to feel the mellowing process. I started to see people and life in a different light. I learned to pick and choose my battles. My job became less fun and much more stressful. By the time I was 36, I was ready to leave and find something calmer. I quickly realized that I didn't miss the combativeness of the job.
Now at 40-something, life rolls along even easier than before. I swear if it keeps getting easier, I won't be able to stand it. [vbg] It's much simpler for me to be kind than to be argumentative. So much of that stuff is not worth it.
I ended up just remembering my grandmother and how very much I miss her in my life. She's been gone nearly 14 years now and for all these years I've been beating myself up for our last visit having been so short. The chief deputy had sent me on a run to pick up some equipment at the police supply house in Lafayette that afternoon and I decided to stop in Rayne to see her on the way. I couldn't stay long as the supply house was closing, but I stopped and chatted with her for a few minutes. I remember so vividly walking out of the side door of her house as I left. She'd followed me out the door and said she wished I could have stayed longer but was glad I had stopped. I told her I loved her then I drove off. She died suddenly in her backyard while picking pecans about a week later.
Today I finally stopped beating myself up for not staying longer. Today I realized that something made me stop that day, on a day when I normally wouldn't have. I realized that, although she said she wished I could have stayed longer, she was very happy that I'd stopped. I also realized that so many people lose loved ones without getting to tell them they love them. The last thing she ever heard me say was that I loved her. What more could I have said? Why has it taken my this long to realize that, I wonder.
Maybe it's because the older I get, the more like her I want to be. If I can grow to the ripe old age of 85 and be half as kind as she was, I will be blessed indeed.