In a word, my grandmother was fabulous.  She and I were woven from the same hilariously inappropriate, sparkly-thing-loving cloth. Upon her passing last spring, I took time to reflect upon the incredible memories we shared together.  Amidst the memories, a handful of lessons – which until recently didn’t realize we’re truisms sewing together the patchwork of things I hold dear. The most vivid of values inherited is entwined with my sixteenth birthday gift – a beautiful opal and diamond ring passed down that she had received from my great-grandmother on her own sixteenth birthday.  A few months after giving it to me, she asked if I had worn it. I indicated I hadn’t yet had an occasion to do so.  “You don’t need an occasion. Wear your diamonds today,” she said.  And she did. She wore her diamonds everyday.

Live in the moment, be present, this year I will…there seems to be recurring themes in what I’m posting these days.  Once more feel like I’m jumping to the lessons I’ve learned before unraveling the whole story (also – good Lord, I didn’t realize how many metaphors I attach to my pieces of jewelry).  Yet, if I wanted to leave readers of this blog one lesson it would be this – tomorrow is not promised and live today as fabulously as if it were your last.

I was wine tasting this weekend and had a conversation with a PhD student in our group.   We were talking wine collecting (which I don’t do), and mentioned she had received a nice bottle as a gift.  She didn’t know what constituted a special occasion to drink it.  I couldn’t help but think of my grandmother, and shared that to me a “special” day would look something like a Thursday evening and home-cooked meal with someone I care about.  If we are too faint-hearted and save special things for something or someday exceptional, we may let the wine spoil, our diamonds get tucked away, or our love lost.

My grandmother was an inspiration. She raised three children after my grandfather passed in his 40’s (both pictured above at the Walker Cup in St. Andrews),  overcame alcoholism, and enjoyed her life with more exuberance than anyone I’ve known. In her memory, I say go ahead and enjoy that expensive wine, wear your diamonds, and say the words or sentiments you save for special occasions today. Every day is extraordinary, after all.

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This week marks the one year anniversary of my grandmother’s passing. As such I thought there was no better time to share her pearls of wisdom…or diamonds, as it were.

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