My grandmother is ten days away from celebrating her 102nd birthday. For her 100th birthday she threw out the first pitch at a major league baseball game. Last year she spent her 101st birthday with a celebrity chef exchanging recipes and sharing stories about life in the restaurant business.
This year when asked how she would like to celebrate, she paused for a few minutes and then smiled. For the next several hours we talked about her life. She reminisced about the things in life that gave her joy, the sources of pain and ultimately the things that made her life worth living and worth remembering.
“I now realize that my life has had a purpose. I was here for a reason. What a gift to realize that now before I am gone. I have lived my life trying every day to be compassionate to others—but being compassionate is a conscious act. Compassion is not something that happens when we are busy, self-involved or too tired to notice the needs of others. We have to look around and see what others need and then care enough to do something about it. When I am gone, I want people to remember me as a compassionate person—somebody who took the time to notice the needs of others and then care enough to do even the little things. That will be the nicest way to celebrate my life.”
She went on to remind me that this birthday could be her last (which she says every year and then laughs and says one of these times I’m going to be right) and then added I want to make it a good one. I want to celebrate by encouraging others to engage in the things that matter.
My grandmother has lived 37,220 days and her wish for her 37,230 day is that she can encourage others to live their compassion #consciouscompassion. Live life will full awareness of others and show your compassion.
In honor of her upcoming 102nd birthday, grandma is issuing the 10 day Conscious Compassion challenge. Each day she will offer a compassion challenge. Please follow the link below and share your stories of how you met the challenge.