What Grandma Taught Me about Dreams

Grandma, Surrounded by Family
Grandma, Surrounded by Family

Bittersweet. My heart is heavy right now. My Grandma, forever one of the great loves of my life, died last Wednesday. She was 92. I was able to enjoy Grandma for many years. Of course there is never enough time. I’m sad, but I know Grandma would say, "Enough of that. Time to be positive."

Lois Rial taught me a lot about life. She truly lived by example. Here are five lessons she taught me about dreams.

1. You are never too young or too old to dream. Even as a "little fellow," as she called me, I could tell Grandma was proud of me. Proud of me before I felt I had accomplished anything significant. Thanks to Grandma, I started to learn that greatness is more about who you are than it is about what you do.

Secure in her identity and possessing a zest for life, Grandma seized the day like few others her age, or any age, for that matter. Forced to pass up a full scholarship to Wellesley College, Grandma retained a passion for history. Decades later in her eighties, she took classes at Bradley University. When she wasn’t taking classes or spending time with family and friends, she was traveling to Europe and around the States.

2. You can’t do it alone. "If you want to have a friend, be a friend," Grandma often said. Grandma was all the rage in the dining room at her retirement community. People loved to stop by her table and say ?hi,? that is, if she hadn’t beat them to it. Grandma was always on the lookout for those who needed encouragement. She didn’t know a stranger.

3. The best is ahead. Before I made my latest move a couple months ago, I was apprehensive. Grandma pushed me over the fence. She lived in more than 30 different places during her lifetime and had this to say, "Samuel, every place I’ve moved to has been better than the previous place." Now that I am settled into my new home, of course, Grandma proves right again.

4. Determination. Grandma was born in 1920, a three-pound premature baby. Her incubator consisted of blankets in an attic, her family’s home at the time. No surprise, then, where I got my fighter mentality.

Grandma nearly died in her eighties of appendicitis, but after a 10-week battle, she beat that sucker. In her later years, she developed several health problems. "Growing old is not for sissies," she said. Her leg became like wood. Still she climbed the hill behind her retirement community at least three times a day and charged down the hallway like she was on a mission. She was. It was called, "Make everyone else’s life better."

5. Have faith. Grandma was old school. She read her Bible and got on her knees daily. She was still doing so when I last saw her a couple months ago. My mom would tell her she didn’t need to get down on her knees in her nineties. Grandma persisted.

Often people shared their concerns with her, and she would say, "Let’s pray about that right now." Grandma, your prayers have made me who I am today. I love you.

Who has had a significant impact on your dreams?  Tell me about it