It is always a challenge to write those words. I retyped that sentence several times. I struggle with the concept of how to word her not being physically present. I lost her. She died. Those phrases, although I do use them sometimes, are so definitive, they lack the compassion and love that embraces each thought and memory I have of Grandma. I lose my words and never know exactly who to word it.
She truly does live on in my heart, my actions, my creative endeavors, my smile, my fashion and style. She isn't really gone, although I can't pick up the phone and call her, she's always with me. Learn more about her and her impact on my life here-Sweet Grandma and here-Grandma Love.
Since moving to Louisville, I've been looking for the right opportunity to volunteer my time, ideally teaching yoga, either to raise funds for an organization or teaching to a community in need. In the latter half of 2013 a fellow yoga teacher mentioned Gilda's Club to me. (It's funny how the universe does speak to you if you allow yourself to speak to it). Gilda's Club is a national cancer support community with various locations across the country. I had never heard of Gilda's Club before…and wow do I wish I had, especially when my grandmother was sick. They offer support and networking groups, various events for both individuals impacted by cancer, but also their family and friends.
When my grandma was sick, I remember feeling stuck, not knowing how to help, what to say, when to say it, wanting so badly to help in some way, knowing inevitably we would lose her to cancer….but having no idea what to do to make her life more pleasant (especially in my case living so far from her when she was sick). Gilda's Club, or something similar, would have been a blessing.
Although, I am just learning about this amazing community now, it has helped me digest some of the thoughts and regrets I've had about my grandmothers illness. I could not be with her during the most painful days and I was not with her when she took her last breath of life….but in some way now that I am volunteering to teach yoga at Gilda's club ~ I feel an even deeper connection to her ~ and a sense of relief from the pressure I was putting on myself.
I am excited to be teaching yoga, what I hope to be at least monthly, at Gilda's Club in Louisville. The students who joined me yesterday were so appreciative, kind, willing to try something new, supportive of me and most importantly, supporting of each other.
Have you thought about how you could be of service to a community? Finding a venue that is meaningful to you in some way, will make the time you spend so rewarding for all parties involved.