If you are fortunate to have or (have had) someone in your life who could simply make your day just by hearing their voice; just by being in their presence and just by feeling the love they have to give, then this piece is one for you. Finding someone like that who you look up to and aspire to be like, helps us put things into perspective. These people alone help us set a tone for how we want to live our own lives.
Today I remember the most amazing person who I’ve met up til this point in my life. Her name was Lola, she was my best friend and my grandmother (who I called ‘Bubbie’) and today she would’ve been a young 102 years old, though if she was here today, she’d say she was turning ‘Sweet 16,’ with a laugh and a confidence that you’d almost mistake for truth if you weren’t confronted with her petite frame and not so quick walking.
Lola had stark black hair, a killer smile and a lust for life. She didn’t pass away until age 96, her optimism and young-at-heartness a likely cause for such an extensive, full and complete life. Lola was the type of person who would light up a room. She saw the good in the bad, she didn’t complain, she just constantly put out love, attention and energy into every person who came her way and in return, she got it back. She did so not because she wanted anything back, and not because she had a need to be so giving and loving, but because it was her nature. It in turn made her happy. Made her feel of value. Made her eluminate in that way that she always did.
Up until she passed away she looked forward to those same sorts of things us twentysomethings look forward to: getting a great new outfit or wardrobe, events, birthday functions, hair appointments and manicures, girls nights (ok days) out, dinners with friends, catching up. She was one of those independent women Beyonce would sing about and made it her duty to get to places on her own.
She cooked, she baked, she gossiped. She’d joke, she’d banter, she’d flirt. My Bubbie Lola is a woman who touched my life in a way that no one else has. A novel I could write about her eccentricities, her experiences, her happy hours and beaching in tube tops and oversized glasses I often asked to even borrow to pull off her look (and magnetic appeal). She was always hopeful, she didn’t let her age hold her back and she would never leave anything unresolved. For if you resolve all of life’s minor issues and concerns that come your way in the moment, you don’t have the time or the negative energy to hold onto feelings which turn into grudges.
Today on her birthday I remind myself of the daily letters she’d mail to me at camp, her tone of voice, her smile, her energy, the way she’d call me the love of her life, and I smile knowing that I had the luxury of having her as my best friend and how fortunate I am to have had experienced such a great love so early on, in an unconditional and innate way of being that will last me for years.
– Jenny Jen