One of the wonderful opportunities the quarantine has given me is time to engage with a French tutor and polish my speaking abilities. I mean it’s one thing to read an academic article and quite another to be able to say anything about it. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for some time. I’d started up last year with my Parisian tutor, Melissa, and had to put everything on hold.
And now I have all of this wonderful time.
During one of our conversations a couple of weeks ago, we’d gotten on the topic of people who inspire us. Rather than celebrities or historical figures, my mind wandered straight to my grandmother. I was telling Melissa how present my grandmother still is in my life. And it’s because we talked constantly and shared our stories. To this day I discover life lessons she taught me for stages in my life she’d never witness.
Fast forward to today. I’m working away and I run across this quote:
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved on stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”
The truth of this filled my heart immediately. This is exactly why I have to remember to use the past tense when talking about her. She’s been gone for so many years now, and yet she’s present in my simple daily routines and at every crossroad in my life. She’s in the way I fold towels and in the shape of my nails. She’s in my mother’s favorite expressions and my cousin’s quirks.
It makes me overwhelmingly grateful. I’m in awe of how much one person can change another’s life through a million tiny moments. At the time it may seem like nothing, but if you have or every have had someone like her in your life, then you know that it’s actually everything.