Tiny Wisdom: We Are Here, We Are Loved

“Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don’t unravel.” ~Unknown

The other night I flew home to Massachusetts, after visiting just a couple months back to spend time with my sick grandmother.

Since she was released from the hospital in February, she’s been staying with my parents, which means I’ll have plenty of opportunities to simply be with her during this trip—not for lunch or a specific activity, but simply to share space.

Though I enjoy seeing her because I love her, I also appreciate how being in her company reminds me of what matters in life.

As I write this, she’s sitting in a reclining chair in the living room, exuding a calming sense of ease. She’s long-widowed and slowly recovering from her recent virus. But she’s well-loved, frequently visited by children and grandchildren who respect and admire her, and despite the challenges of aging, she seems content and at peace.

This is the image I’ve decided to carry with me through my days, whether I’m 30 feet, 300 blocks, or 3,000 miles from that chair: my 82-year old grandmother, who likely no longer remembers petty worries from when she was my age. Who simply appreciates this moment, her health, and time with the people she loves.

So often in life we lose perspective, and get bogged down by all the little challenges that can seem huge and overwhelming when we’re knee-deep in them.

We hold onto gripes that we’d be better off releasing. We get outraged over annoyances that won’t matter in the grand scheme of things. If we’re not careful, we can turn life into a never-ending chain of problems to be solved—ever-fixating on external causes, looking for someone and something to blame.

It’s easy to get caught up in this cycle. We live in an imperfect world, and things aren’t always just. If we’re looking for them, we will always find things to complain and stress about.

But regardless of how much we worry in this moment, we will all age. We will all experience loss. And we will all come to understand more fully how valuable one moment can be when we choose to embrace and appreciate it.

It needn’t be at the end of our lives. At any time, we can sit back, take a deep breath, and bathe ourselves in silent appreciation. We are here, and we are loved.

Photo by Paulo Fassina

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha's Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

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  • YogaInMyPocket

    My father very recently passed away unexpectedly.  I only knew him for the first 3 years of my life and the last 3 years of his life.   I can say, with his passing, that I have no regrets.  We reunited in unconditional love and acceptance, complete forgiveness and this has become my mantra all my relationships – if one of us passes away – would I have any regrets? 

  • Kel

    That was beautiful,  thank you Lori.

  • Jpfau456

    ahhhh, needed that.

  • Somedays that is harder for me, than others… today is hard

  • Cindy vee

    Oh so True, I do sit back now take a day at a time , Breathe & don’t stress the small or Big stuff , Happiness is a choice, I choose to use it wisely & Peacefully. I’m only here for a visit so have love, kindness, & Fun with this world we live in 😉 sending Love Cindy Fuerst

  • Maru

    Nothing but the truth! Love this one, made me think, feel and agree.
    Thanks Lori.

  • CiaraConlon

    Good reminder not to sweat the small stuff, but said in a much sweeter way!

  • Very thoughtful, Lori. I adore my one living grandparent. My awesome Grandma! She has such a mischievous spirit, she’s always up for a laugh, and never hesitates to make you feel loved. I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t visited her in several months. I have plenty of excuses, but they don’t matter. This post will serve as my kick in the ass to go see an incredible lady. Thank you!

  • Christianemell1

    Beautiful, and spot on, as usual. Thank you, Lori, for sharing your loving and inspirational message.

  • Bob

    I am a bit of an older fellow…supposedly older AND wiser.  I am fairly well read and consider myself to be functionally contemplative.  The reflections, insights and life lessons shared by Lori are refreshingly unpretentious and authentic.  I read them eagerly;  with a smile on the inside.  We are all well advised to gobble up wisdom wherever we can find it, ancient or modern and all moment in between.  This site is a valuable contribution to the possibility of a saner and happier world.  Thank you for your efforts.

  • It’s marvellous that you (as a younger person) can appreciate your grandmother. My favorite sentence above: “[She] simply appreciates this moment, her health, and time with the people she loves.”

    I wish I’d had the wisdom to appreciate my elders when they were alive. Alas, I’m stuck with appreciating the memory of them instead. So I’m curious: Lori, have you had conversations with your grandmother in which you ask her to pass on her wisdom, advice, observations on life and growing old, that kind of thing? Those are conversations I’d give anything to have had with my grandparents and elder parents when I had the chance. Now that I’m in my 60s, I regret not having had that kind of “guidance counselling” from those who really knew me enough to help me on my path to aging.

    Wouldn’t it make a marvellous TinyBuddha article — quoting such a conversation, Lori with Grandmother.

  • Jcatain

    I love this post, for it is so important to take the wisdom from our elders and infuse it into our lives.  I medically case manage 50 very frail elderly people in my RN career, and my favorite thing to do is to visit them in their retirement home or nursing home and sit by them and just listen to their profound wisdom.  Most are very weak and sickly, but have such a gracious contentment and express such gratefullness for their lives.  It is the simplest things that they remember.  How they talk about their abundant and overflowing  love for their families never ceases to amaze me. It is beautiful and often leaves me teary eyed, a bit breathless, but feeling so blessed to be able to share their precious memories and feel so peaceful and happy inside and truly realize that all that petty stuff I worry about – it is nothing and will never even be remembered in the long run.  It is the memories of time spent together – truly connecting – that will live on forever in our hearts. 

  • Connie

    Beautifully written Lori. I appreciate and am grateful for each day and make sure each day to make my entry in my Gratitude Journal which allows me to give thought to what I’m thankful for. Each day is both a gift and a blessing.

  • Thank you for the comments everyone! I apologize for my slow mass response. My grandmother actually fell on Friday morning and fractured her hip (after having previously broken the other one) so I was at the hospital for a chunk of the day. Fortunately, she will be just fine, though she’ll need to go back to rehab. I hope you’re all having a peaceful, happy weekend!

  • Renee

    That is lovely. My great-grandmother has the same peace you speak about your grandmother having. I envy her that peace, but I know it was hard-won and hard-learned in some cases. One of the gifts of aging to look foward to.