While driving my grandmother to her Silver Sneakers class at the YMCA she turned to me and said, “It’s a strange thing, this being 90.”
“How do you mean?” I asked.
“Your memory. You do things and then later you don’t remember them. It’s just, ‘poof’” as she made a tiny explosion with her hand.
For years I’ve watched as Grandma’s fading memory frustrated and angered her as she refused to accept the fact that she was aging. While I empathize with the fear she feels at being unable to remember, the silver lining in her evolution is that she’s been brought fully into the now. My Grandmother knows that she will soon forget what just happened, so she’s learning to live moment to moment.
Lately I’ve been researching gratitude and I’m finding more and more that a by-product of being grateful is being present. In order to appreciate something (gratitude) we have to be consciously aware of its existence in this moment (presence).
As we wind through the hills she whispers “Oh my…” and “That’s beautiful” and “Look at that!” with a smile that would convince you that she’d always seen the world this way.
Grandma lost her memory but found gratitude and presence, which have combined to gift her the experience of “joy”.
Before we lose anything, let’s take a moment to be grateful, get present, and experience some of the joy that exists in our life right now. Enjoy your day!