I'm half way through a psychology essay for my college course. But as usual on a Saturday, just as the week is ending, and a new week is beginning, I feel a bit down.
I was watching a film (I always write with Netflix on in the background) and basically, the girl in it was living the same day over and over until she learnt the right lessons, and eventually she died. In a very dramatic and heartfelt monologue at the end, she discusses that she lived her last day as how she wanted to be remembered. It got me thinking how easy it is when someone dies to let the grief take over and to just think that they are gone. It's a long time before you can remember what you want to from them.
For example. Thanks to my Grandad, I remember the importance of a hug, of always making up after an argument. I remember when you have a cold to not leave the house without a packet of tissues and throat sweets. I remember what a difference it can make to be a quiet, gentle, yet solid presence in someones life. I remember that the best way to get toast out of the toaster when it get's stuck is to turn it off at the wall, and use something sharp with a wooden handle. I remember the smallest thing you do can make the biggest difference to someone.
Thanks to my Nanny, I remember that you should always brush your hair and look your best before you leave the house (this was the lady who insisted on changing her skirt before going off to A&E with a head injury after all). That sometimes in an argument you just need to back down. I remember that if you love someone, you fight to protect them with all that you have, but you never indulge them. She taught me that if you're right, you don't back down (which relates me back to my previous point of sometimes you need to back down in an argument!) I remember that manners don't cost a penny and that people appreciate them.
Both of them left a legacy that will long survive them. Both of them made me, and anyone they spent time with, a better person than they would have been without them. For a long time I will think of them in their later stages in their hospital beds, and there's not much I can do about that. But at the same time, I'll remember everything I learnt from them. And while the image of them in their last days will fade, the lessons and the person they shaped me in to will last forever.