Yes, it’s the simple things that matter when it comes to life and time spent with family. It’s not about seeing the latest movie or buying them the latest clothes, it’s about time spent with each other.
I know from my own childhood I fondly remember spending time with my Nanna when she would fly up to stay with us. I don’t have any memory of any gifts she might have given me over time, but strong, precious and abiding memories of summer days on trips to the beach as my Mum described, ‘Nanna and Sue, head down, bum up, fossicking in rock pools’. Or visiting my Nanna in Christchurch and trays of delicious baking. I have some of her recipes and any of them I make bring floods of memories with them.
I hope that I am making precious memories with my grandchildren too. Recently, we took the three granddaughters to see the ‘Fruit Forest’ in the new area we are moving to. It is a community garden with fruit trees and strawberries, raspberries, lots of fruiting plants. I walked around pointing to things, telling the girls, ‘that’s an apple tree, that’s a strawberry plant….’ etc. One of the girls said (with some admiration) ‘Wow, Nanna how do you know what they are just by looking at them?’ It was a nice feeling to think I can still impress a 12 year old! Every new experience we have together is precious to me and I hope precious to them. I hope I am instilling the values of family togetherness with simple pleasures of visiting those gardens, followed by a picnic. Very little money involved, but quality time and that is what matters.
I hope that my granddaughters remember the amazing time Nanna knew all the plants in the garden or the picnic that followed. That they remember baking together and hearing that the treats we baked were once baked by their great great Nanna. That I will pass those recipes on to them and they in turn will have lovely memories of us making them together.
None of us know what time we have on this earth and maybe that’s a good thing. Let us value how we spend that time and who we spend it with. Regardless of any diagnosis let life be enriched, not by monetary value but with time spent with those we love.