Always Learning: An Appreciation For Grandmas

March 7, 2016

Name someone who inspires you. Do you have one person that comes to mind?

The question was asked of me not too long ago, and I couldn’t name just one person. I’d never quite realized it before, but I am lucky enough to gather inspiration from a variety of individuals in my life – both personally and professionally. I can’t pick just one person – and I won’t, so don’t make me – as each has a little something different to bring to the table. But I do want to call attention to two badass chicks that deserve some applause.

They are grande dames. OGs. Bosses (before it became buzzy). Whip-smart. Strong, confident, caring and creative – meet my grandmas.

At 90 and 91 years young, Momo – as we affectionately call her – and grandma Bea (although she’d prefer just “Bea,” as the grandma designation “feels old”) are still kicking ass and taking names. The lives that both of these ladies led in their early years are inspirational enough, but they don’t stop there. Momo and G. Bea continue to amaze me each and every day. We’d be here forever if I listed all of the amazing things these remarkable women have accomplished in their lives, so instead, I’ll highlight a few favorites.

  • Upon visiting Momo a few weeks ago, I learned that she’s throwing a Derby party for her friends this coming May. Because, why not? Why shouldn’t she get her best pals together for the affair? And if you’re wondering, hats are a must, as are Mint Juleps.
  • If you’re ever feeling sluggish about getting out of bed and getting to the gym, just think of my grandma Bea. At 91, she gets to the pool EVERY MORNING for a workout. Nothing gets in the way of her pool time. In fact, she just told me a story about how a few years back, at her old place, she was going for her daily swim when she took a fall (as happens from time-to-time). She was “lounging” on a chaise chair (see hanging on, waiting for someone to help her up) when along came a young couple, kindly helping Bea to her feet. Bloody and bruised (literally blood was dripping from her chin), Bea dusted herself off and hopped into the pool for an hour workout. Jaw. Drop.
  • Because raising six kids wasn’t enough for her (I’m tired just thinking about it), my Momo played a key role in the creation of the Minneapolis Children’s Hospital.
  • At 90, Momo isn’t done learning. She’s still tickling the ivories – to keep those fingers nimble – and throwing her hat into the tech ring. That’s right — she’s all set up on email and has even gone as far as suggesting an appointment at Genius Bar to get her questions answered. Truth be told, I’m not sure she ever went through with it, as there are enough people in the family to help out with any and all issues.
  • While making new friends at 91 isn’t the easiest thing, especially for an introvert who doesn’t hear well, G. Bea is doing a damn good job. She’s getting herself out there in her new community and taking a seat at the bridge table.

Taking time out for weekly cooking classes with grandsons (rumor on the street is that “graduation day” is near), dressing up in costume, caucusing, creating lyrics and putting on shows, supporting friends who aren’t doing as well, creating a “dead art gallery” to showcase works of art (arguable) from children and grands, the list really does just go on. There are so many things to be learned from these incredible ladies and really, they aren’t complicated – take chances, help others, believe in yourself and have fun.