5 Lessons I’ve Learned From My 80+ Grandparents


1. It’s okay to lose your patience sometimes.

You love your family and they know it, but you can drive each other crazy sometimes. You’d think that my grandmother – a mother of 7 children and grandmother of 10 grandchildren – has developed an infinite amount of patience by now. Nope. She snaps every now and then, too. But that’s okay! Because we know we love each other, and getting angry at someone means you care. If you don’t care, you wouldn’t feel anything. We’re as passionate when we fight as when we love. In the end, love wins. It’s family.

2. Altruism is a real thing.

It’s not a romanticized term in inspirational quotes you find on Facebook. My grandmother still cooks for 10+ people multiple times a week. And she never complains. In fact, she’s the one that insists everyone comes to my grandparent’s place to have dinner together. And that’s just one example of what she does for the family.

3. There’s always room to be more generous.

You think you were generous when you told your friend you’d pay for that coffee? Yeah, me too. Think again, though. I don’t come from a rich family, yet my grandfather always offers to buy whatever he thought he heard his grandchildren talk about. “Oh you need a new phone case? Let’s go buy it now. No, now. Get up, the bus leaves in 15 minutes.” This brings me to my next lesson, which is…

4. You’re neither old nor busy, you’re just lazy.

Dear Lord, my grandfather probably gets more exercise than I do. It’s embarrassing. I honestly can spend an entire day doing nothing. Just sit on the couch and read a good book in one position for an embarrassing number of hours. In the meantime, my grandfather has gone grocery shopping, went for a walk, went to my aunt’s place to say hi, and cleaned the entire storage room. So yeah, what’s your excuse? I blame easy access to entertainment. (Pssst…the Internet.)

5. Nothing comes easy. You want something to succeed and last? Work for it.

I know many people say that if it’s true love, you shouldn’t have to work for it so hard. I don’t agree. Well, I partially don’t agree. I get that if it’s truly meant to be, you’d know how to complement each other and it will work out eventually no matter the circumstances. However, nothing can succeed without work and effort. My grandparents have been married for 67 years now, they’ve had 7 children together, and went through many hardships in life. Yet, they never let any negative events in their lives affect their relationship. They stayed loyal and faithful to each other. Until this day, my grandfather takes care of my grandmother when she needs him. Until this day, my grandmother cooks for my grandfather whatever he wishes. They help each other with house chores. They’re there for each other. Always.

I don’t need a fictional character to be my hero. I don’t need a romantic comedy with a happy ending to restore my faith in true love. I have my grandparents to show me everything I need to know. My grandparents are my heroes. Who’s yours?