My paternal grandmother lived a full and interesting life.
Born in the Oklahoma Territory to Eastern European immigrants, she married young, worked hard, raised children. At nearly 50 she went back to school, first finishing high school and then college. With me, age eight, in tow, she and my grandfather moved to their dream land, the starkly beautiful Four Corners area of the American Southwest. She became one of the very first English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers, developing methods and curriculums while living on the Navajo Reservation.
Reading was both a professional and a personal passion. She read every single day of her adult life. She would often read late into the night, loving the journey that a good book provides, always excited to find out what happened next.
When I asked her what she most wanted me to know about her life, my grandmother said this: “That every night, before I close my eyes, I thank G-d for my curiosity.” At the end of her life she was fighting a very serious lung infection. When it became obvious that her body was not rallying this time, I went out for a last visit. Sitting by her hospital bed, I asked her how she was doing. And, I asked her how she felt about dying. She squeezed my hand and beamed, her blue eyes crinkling, a big smile pushing against the straps of a complicated, humidified oxygen mask. “Curious!” she exclaimed. “I am so curious to see what happens next!”
May all babies be born into loving hands