Saturday, March 12, 2016

71. Little, Wonderful, Loving Things

Every day for about the past four months, somebody has a new take on Trump. I keep expecting it to bottom out, but the  beast keeps wanting to be fed. It’s just tiring. (I realize that I myself am writing a #TrumpTake by invoking his name, but bare with me.)

I’ve tried to cut back on my social media posts. I’ve been getting prickly sensations every time I log on. People are digging their heals in about issues, candidates, and the other big important issues of the world, many of which we only have a limited scope of. Opening up our hearts or minds seems to someone different than us seems to be out of the question.

It makes me miss someone who is as about anti-Trump as you can get: my grandma, Marion Greulich. It’s about two weeks shy of the second anniversary of her passing. I miss her gentleness and her love.

I rarely discussed politics with my grandma, and I don’t think we would say much if we did. She was a Catholic voter and didn’t talk about it much. (At least not with her grandchildren.) She was more interested in how school was going, our jobs, our lives. In her later years, she wasn’t a lively with conversation, mainly because her hearing was going, but she was still polite and warm as ever.

Grandma didn’t have an ego. She raised five kids, loved her numerous grandchildren, wrote copious amounts of cards, and always seemed to do little things for people. She didn’t need buildings with her name on them. She was a woman who was satisfied with raising a good family and brightening the days of people who were often forgotten about.

I remember when my dad and I stopped at her place as we headed out for the east coast a few years ago. We spent a few hours there. We weren’t doing much, but we played Scrabble. I can’t remember if I didn’t want to or something, but I was resistant to staying for a while, she reminded me that she might not have a lot of time left here. It wasn’t a guilt trip, or at least it didn’t feel like one. But we played Scrabble for the next hour or so. I know she appreciated it.

That warm spirit that my grandma carried in abundance, let’s call it love, doesn’t really come across on the internet. Or, I should say that it’s reduced to videos of puppies and digital hearts. It’s kind of like using Google translate where the conjugation gets all messed up, you get the idea of what people are trying to say, but it just isn’t the same message.

I don’t think our country will be destroyed if a certain person is elected to the presidency, it will be destroyed because we become calcified to the thought of loving your neighbor. We’ll forget how to do those little acts of love to people we don’t agree with. We may say that we still love them (“I love the poorly educated!), but when they’re really in need, will we hear them?

I don’t know the answer to that question, but instead of thinking big (or yuuuggee), we should remember that it’s the small things that add up to who we are. Grandma knew that. She was made up of little, wonderful, loving things. I miss that.

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