Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Taiwan Travelogue: Euglogy For My Grandmother

On Saturday 15th, 2012 in Taipei, Taiwan, I shared my thoughts about my grandmother along with my cousins.  While the experience was difficult the writing and sharing of these words was important for my family and I.

I've started this school year talking to my students about choices. Every day we make thousands of choices, from what pants to put on in the morning to whether or not we acknowledge a homeless person who asks us for money as we walk by.

Like children, we don't alway put a lot of thought into our actions and the effect they have on the people around us. In the same way we often overlook the way that other people's choices effect us. For me, this is what this day is about.

The choices my grandmother made resonate in all of our lives. From the seemingly insignificant to the immediately profound, she chose for herself a life full of love and family and through these choices taught us all how to be a family.

I love how I have a cousin who is half Swiss and an aunt in Taiwan, and while the miles between us make it more difficult to stay connected, it's makes it that much more meaningful that we choose to be hear today as a family.

When I was in elementary school grandmother chose to come and help teach me and me classmates how to make paper cranes. When I was married she chose to come to our wedding and share in that amazing day, and whenever my mother visited her she would chose to go shopping and make sure to have a gift for my mom to bring home to Diana.

I think about these things and I know that I'm a better person because of them, and while she may not have not thought too much about these choices, they changed my life. In this way her choice to foster relationships with all of us has sent ripples throughout our lives and led to us making the profound choice to share this day together as one. In this way, grandmother is always with us and through her life we are all connected.

So like my grandmother, choose to love, choose to be a family and choose to remember and honor the ones that come before. Because it is in understanding how the choices of the past effect our lives can we be mindful of how our choices can change the lives of the people around us for the better.

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