Every day we handle money decisions, whether it is an easy decision or hard decision. There are some that you never want to think about, and others that are so exciting that you cannot wait.
When you think about your family,
how do you handle family vs frugality?
This past week my family said a very difficult good bye to my loving grandma.
My grandma was absolutely wonderful. She shared so much with everyone, and although what she shared cost so little it meant so much. I already miss her, but the more I think about my grandma, the more I realize, it wasn’t about the things that were important, or what she got….. it was about giving of herself to those around her sometimes in little ways and sometimes very large. Of all the things that my grandma ever did, all I want now is just one of her hugs.
Some of the things that my grandma did for many people might not seem to be very important but all the little things made her care more about every one else. Like the way she bought my wife’s books even though they were never books that she would read, JUST to support her grand-kids.
She never stopped thinking about family and with all 4 grand-kids, 7 great-grandchildren each one was special to her, and each birthday for the grand-kids there were still cards, and the great grand-kids she attended every event she could.
She shared her seat many times when I was growing up and continued with her great grand children. We used to stay at their house every summer, she would sit and watch a show with her grand-kids(or fall asleep while knitting). She could talk for hours on the phone with you about everything that was going on she would always be ready to have food no matter how short notice it was you came for a visit. For years she always shared Diet Coke with us when we came over she always asked if we would like one.
In the last year she took EVERY opportunity to hold our youngest daughter Rose. Even when she was barely strong enough to hold her, she would ask for her as soon as she saw us.
At one point when I was growing up our family went camping with my grandparents. As an early teen (I think about 13) I was just about the same height as my grandma 5′ 2″ and we were still checking to make sure I wasn’t taller. When we were hiking that week I did what any normal teen does, splash in a large puddle, but I didn’t prepare for sopping wet shoes. My grandma offered me her spare shoes (which did fit) and I wore those while they were wet.
She was there for my parents when they needed a sitter when I was really little, where my dad would drop me off there before I was old enough to remember so that she could watch me while he was at work.
Birthdays were quite small in my family, but now that makes it special, because my grandma was there at all of my birthdays growing up. At one point she made her first dirt cake for a birthday. After that it was history, every one of us wanted her dirt cake for every birthday.
We went to see my great-grandma together many times when I stayed at their house, or her very elderly neighbor down the block, or the many friends that my grandma had including Jeanne who grandma brought to several events as well as Jo who was an Aunt to us, well especially me. My grandma cared so much for people around her, it was evident and she NEVER wanted to ask for help, even when it was hard and nor did she complain about how hard it was or how much it hurt, but she would still listen to the pain you were going through or in.
For every important event of my life, she was there. With our walks when I was younger and visiting with them at their church, and picking me up from Fort Knox after training (driving a hatchback Focus with 2 – 21 inch tube tvs, me and lots of bags) to picking me up after I returned home home on leave from Iraq. I am so thankful for the time that I got to share with her. She will be dearly missed by my entire family.
And now what I realize more and more is that money means nothing when it comes to family or friends.
Your life, your time, activities, meals….. little things mean much more later than a $100 gift card or a fancy meal. Take time today to spend with your family. Turn off the TV, turn off Facebook and pay attention to your family more than anything else.
Here are 10 things that I did with my grandparents growing up and as I became an adult, that could mean the world to you and them:
- Make a meal for or with someone.
- Call someone up on the phone just to talk.
- Visit someone like a grandparent, or older parent and watch some Jeopardy/Wheel of Fortune, maybe talk.
- Go fishing
- Go hunting (if you are hunter)
- Go golfing or mini-golfing.
- Take a walk/hike and talk.
- Take someone shopping (Unique Thift Store/Savers)
- Read a book with someone
- Go camping
Some of these cost a little bit extra, but may create some of the most meaningful memories and experiences that you will never forget and will mean the world to the family members that are included.
Don’t take your family for granted, and don’t hesitate. A blink of an eye it could be to late.
Do you have any stories to share of your family?