Family Reunion and lessons I learned from my grandma

Monday, July 31, 2017

I am slowly catching up with our traveling/ exploring pictures. Don't know if or when I would be able to catch up but at least I try. Last November our family went back to Indonesia for family reunion. It has been five years since our grandma went to be with the Lord so we gather together for a day of fellowship and giving thanks.

Above: Chubby 5 months old Wesley and great grandma.
Below: 5 years old Wes and my nephew throwing flowers at grandma's grave.

Lessons I learned from my grandma:
a. Value people over things. When she passed away, her life saving total was only $1,800. She left a letter telling her kids to give divide it among her 16 grandchildren with a message: my children don't fight over money and never let it destroy your relationship. Her 8 children remain close to these days. 

a. Who you are at home is who you really are. Be kind, smile to your love ones. Looking around the room that day there's one thing I see in common: smile. The same sweet smile that I often found on grandma's face. It hasn't always been that way. My aunt told me grandma used to get angry easily until she accepted the Lord when she was in her sixties. She got the joy, love, and peace in her heart and it shines through.
b. Serve. If grandma was there, she would be doing what my lovely aunt was doing. Cutting fruits or serving food for others to enjoy. She doesn't like to be the center of attention but her joy, listening ears, and serving heart draw many people close to her.  
c. Love others by serving, listening, and accepting them. In Asia, it's common for mother of the husband to live with the family so my mom has always been living with grandma almost her entire marriage years except some years when grandma decided to live with her other kids.
My mom told me her only regret was: she didn't found out when grandma was unconscious sooner. If she did, maybe the doctor could still be able help grandma and she may still be alive. 
My mom works full time so grandma help her with grocery, cooking, and watching over her children. Growing up, I often found my mom lying down after work on grandma bed with grandma by her side and just talking. I didn't realize until I grew up how rare it is to have such a sweet relationship between a mother in law and daughter in law. I pray that I would have that kind of relationship with my future daughter in love.
She never lock her bedroom except when she change clothes so we're always feel welcome to come to her, listening to her story, or just resting on her bed.

d. Be Joyful & Sing 
My grandma only knew a few song that she sing over and over and over again. She would sing it at the shower, when she gave us advises, or whenever she want to. She seldom criticized us but she never withhold warning, instruction, correction, or guidance whenever she thinks we need it.

e. In everything Give Thanks. Even after she fell down and broke her arm, a year before she passed away, she never lose her joy. When I came back with baby Wesley, we can't stop her from holding him even with her broken arm

f. Be prayerful
She woke up at 4 AM to pray and read her devotion before going about her days, washing clothes, cook breakfast, going to the grocery, helping my aunt at her shop, then going home, cooking lunch for us, telling us story in order for us to nap faster and so on.

g. People sometimes annoying, selfish, and unkind, but love them anyway. 
When I look at our family picture I see how different, crazy, and imperfect we are but grandma loves each one of us unconditionally and always make each one of us feel special. She knows our favorite foods and would provide it whenever we are home. My sister in law told me whenever she's visiting she would always found yogurt in the fridge because grandma prepared it for her and when I came back, I would find my favorite food and fruits that grandma brought from the wet market.
h. Stay active and eat well. Grandma didn't like to go to the doctor. One day when her stomach hurt, the doctor told her to have surgery and she run away from the hospital. I didn't remember what kind of sickness she got but since then she eat only healthy food and in small amount. She always told us to eat just enough, not too much. Every morning, she wash her own clothes by hands then line dry them. Even on the morning she passed away, she was still washing her own cloth and cook for the family. 
i. Be herself. My grandma love God and her family. She was a simple woman who doesn't care much about other people opinion so her hair or clothes style were never influenced by the current trend. She doesn't like traveling by airplane but out of her love to her children or grandchildren she would travel by air if she has too.

Thank you grandma for loving us and the lessons that you taught me. I will see you again in Heaven one day.