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My grandma, Mimi (aka Beatrice – hence my last name Bea), was one of my greatest mentors. Here are 7 lessons that she taught me, and that I try to live my life by:

  1. “Always stay active in body and mind.” She didn’ stop playing tennis when she was 96, and loved solving sudoku puzzles.
  2. “Use your creative gifts to help others.” She knitted mittens to donate, cooked food for my siblings and I to take to college, and arrived bearing baked goods to her doctor appointments. Her gifts to others were her time and skill.
  3. “Accept what is and move on. Don’t complain.” I rarely heard her speak about the arthritis that twisted her fingers, and she even laughed about strapping down her bicep muscle that partially detached from playing tennis. She simply carried on with life and figured out a way to adjust.
  4. “Stand up for what you believe.” Speak your mind. I remember her reprimanding my younger brother and being told to “Pick on someone your own size” when he was teasing one of our younger sisters. If she didn’t approve of something that mattered to her, she spoke up.
  5. “Live life to the fullest.” Mimi was on the move! She walked and took public transportation her whole life. She didn’t care for driving. She played bridge, read books, cooked, created. She was a busy lady, even after she was widowed in her 50’s. She lived alone, but her life was full.
  6. “Take pleasure in the simple things.” From a bite of a delicious dessert, to the excitement of going to Aldi’s with my dad, Mimi enjoyed it all.
  7. “Laugh!” Mimi’s laugh was high, joyous, and it engaged her whole body. She was a delightful spirit, and she didn’t take herself too seriously. She found humor in the aging process, and still felt special when my mom treated her to a pedicure. She was one of a kind, that’s for sure!

I share these lessons with you because it is important to carry on her message. It is important to share her stories. It is important because she was important to me.

Who were your greatest mentors and what did they teach you?

Now share those lessons with the people around you. Keep their memories alive.



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