Where do you come from?
I’ve never really cared about where I’ve come from, my heritage. Honestly, I think I speak for my entire generation. I have been too busy worrying about myself and my current family issues and personal problems to add my ancestors into the mix as well. I have a green passport that says South African, what more do you want from me?
I am a certified gypsy, living in 4 countries by the age of 24. Being away from your grandparents is the same as not having them in your life at all, their knowledge of technology and email is minimal. In short, I didn’t put in the effort. Coming home this time around, I decided to make up for lost time and meet with my Gran once a week. I have loved every minute of it.
Learning from the wisest…
Recently, over our traditional Wimpy coffees, we started discussing the first jobs we ever had. It became clear that with 56 years between us, our experiences were incomparable.
In terms of our first paid jobs; I was serving drunk holiday-makers at the local pub when my gran was already a trained nurse. I learnt how to pursued drunk men to hand over their keys and tip generously whilst my gran learnt how to support young children through their fatal illnesses. Times and circumstances change, but I’m certain I never walked away with the emotional depth and compassion my gran learnt in her early years as a nurse.
The humiliation came when discussing what we did with our first pay checks, I was silenced. My money went straight back into the bar whilst my gran selflessly gave half of her salary to her mother each month.
Make time for your family…
These weekly meetings have brought my gran and I closer; I have since studied our family history as far back as the 1860’s. For those interested, I am part Norwegian, American, English and a dash of South African. I can only hope this inspires others who are still fortunate enough to have their grandparents around, to learn from the wise and beautiful. Travel may be the best University, but love and compassion can be learnt at home.