(My aunt is on the left, my Amma is in the middle and my cousin is on the right.)
I recently lost my grandmother and at first I didn’t think it would affect me like it has. She lived in Iceland to the beautiful age of 85. I have often thought that would be a good age to go and she actually did it.
I didn’t visit very often.
Didn’t matter to her. She loved me wherever I was.
Her love made me feel stronger. Now, after her passing, I feel like her memories have multiplied my strength. It’s kind of weird to feel this way, but she was and is a big part of my emotional foundation.
I never really thought how much my grandmother meant to me until I thought about different interactions we had.
I wrote a small little story that was printed in the Icelandic newspaper that I wanted to share with you.
I arrived in Iceland, knowing about five words. A little afraid and very excited to connect with my family. I visited before, but never for this length of time and staying with someone who spoke only five words of English.
When I arrived at my Amma's (Grandmother in Icelandic) home. I opened the door and said, "Hi Amma!" then I heard her scratchy voice say "Hi, Kalli!" I took off my shoes and began to walk up the steps. Amma turned the corner, there she was in the doorway with a big smile. She gave me the hug and I felt at home.
During my stay with her I wasn't the most giving guest. She was overweight and couldn't move very well. I didn't offer to mow her yard or help her around the house. I'm ashamed of this, but she didn't care. She made kleinur (Icelandic donuts), offered sandwiches and just kept talking to me in Icelandic even when I couldn't understand.
She loved me unconditionally.
I carry her love with me to this day. It supports me when I'm sad or being too hard on myself. If Amma can love a selfish teenager, who was so worried about having fun, that he didn't think about giving back to his Amma, who could use his help, than I can love all my faults too. Unconditionally.
Every person that loves us makes us stronger. They help us believe in our ability to help others.
Think about every person that loved you and what they wanted you to have in your life.
Are you using their love to make you stronger?
Are you lighting your own internal fires?
Are you playing big in your career or just playing it safe?