This Boomer Grandma’s Freedom

This Boomer Grandma’s FreedomBeing a Boomer child in America, I have lived though decades of great change and opportunity that made the American dream possible.

This Grandma was a working mother, part time and mostly full time.  There was never any time for Grandma.  Every moment seemed to belong to everyone else.  And being a Holocaust survivors’ child who was taught the value of living each day to the fullest because there might not be a tomorrow, life has always been full.

I was taught that I was living for several people who were murdered and could not fulfill their dreams.   I was taught that I could be anything I wanted in America, expect obstacles and work hard, but remember most of all to focus and never give up, and do the best you can do to reach the goal.  GG (my mother, Great Grandmother), was the only survivor of her entire village and she said her father told her she would be.

GG had a big task in keeping alive memories of those she loved.  There were so many.  For example, a favorite aunt wanted to be an artist, and when I came home from school with a drawing, to my mother said I had inherited her talent.  Yes, at most points in my life, art has been a hobby.  GG’s oldest brother was going to be a writer, and of course, would have been famous if he had lived to finish a book.  Yes, this Grandma has written a book.  After all, I was going to try to fulfill their dreams too, in their memory, and to honor my mother.

I knew that being a child of Holocaust survivors molded me as a person, but I still belonged to everyone else.   At one point in my life, a long (we never say old) friend,  suggested that it was okay to schedule time during the day to do nothing, as planning to do nothing was doing something.  Doing nothing was difficult and still is.

It was not until age sixty that I realized what a gift I had been given by my parents.  I reached my professional goals and enjoy every day doing the best I can.  I reached my personal goals and enjoy every day doing the best I can.  Now, when I schedule time during the day to do nothing, I do not feel guilty about it. . . most of the time.

This Boomer Grandma’s freedom began when empty nester life truly began.  Now there are really actual hours in the day where time does not belong to everyone else.   Boomers with children should not delude themselves into believing that their children will be adults before age thirty five.  I know I sound soulful (never old) when I say I was older at twenty one than our children were.  Then, it seems, when they hit thirty five they are where they need to be that this Grandma does not worry anymore about the children.

Yes, this Grandma worries about the grandchildren, but in a different way than being the worrying mother.   It is the parents with the parenting responsibility, and we grandmas are there to listen, offer recollections, reminiscences, and help, and sigh with relief that it is them and not us.

Now, as a Boomer Grandma, I am free.    I use my freedom to live each new day to its fullest, partaking in making memories for my grandchildren to pass on to their grandchildren, and enjoying the memories of life lived fully.  There might not be a tomorrow for me.  I know now that this is true for each of us.

I so appreciate what I was taught as, because of my parents, I am accomplishing so much in my life.  This Boomer Grandma meets each day living life to the fullest, with freedom and

Joy,

Mema

P.S.  Holocaust Remembrance Day 2014 starts sundown, April 27, to sundown Monday, April 28, 2014.  If you are inclined, light a candle in memory of the Six Million.  And, in memory of those who could not fulfill their dreams, tell someone you love to live each day to the fullest and to have a goal, and to do their best to reach it.  They will thank you.

 

 

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