Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with bikes
Grace: a controlled, polite, and pleasant way of behaving.
Mondays are not anyone's favorite day of the week. However, I like them well enough; though I like Friday, Saturday and Sunday more. My typical Monday is nothing to complain about: I have class from 8am-10am, then a big long break from then until 4pm when my dreaded physics lab commences. I fill that time gap with coffee, food, and friends, and it makes for a pretty dang good day. But this Monday was more glorious than the others. Why? Because I woke up in Hawaii with my whole family and my best friend. The day has been full of sunshine, bathing suits, good books, paddle boarding, and pina coladas. And dislocated hips.
No. Not mine. My 90 year old grandpa's. This is not terribly surprising, I swear he has dislocated each of his hips 9000 times. Just not while we are on vacation in Hawaii. What's even less surprising is the way he handled the whole situation. It went something like this:
Grandpa and Jane go for a walk on the beach
Grandpa sits down in beach chair
"Hey grandpa, are those sandals hurting your feet?" (Because his foot looks quite odd)
"Well, I popped my hip out. But it's okay, let them finish paddle boarding!"
Everyone comes rushing and we call an ambulance, all the while grandpa is sitting there talking like everything is fine, telling us we don't need to call an ambulance and apologizing profusely about making a mess of the day.
This is the way my grandpa operates. He never wants to inconvenience anyone, even when he is in grotesque amounts of pain and his hip is out of place. He just carries on with a smile on his face. He doesn't throw a pity party about how it's going to be difficult to get around for the rest of the trip because he always knows it not the end of the world. That is dealing with complications gracefully.
Every morning I wake up, I come downstairs, and I ask my grandpa how he's doing. He always responds, "Well, I'm here so I suppose I'm pretty good!" and the proceeds to make oatmeal for me and himself. It doesn't matter that he probably got up three times to pee in the middle of the night, or that he has to move cautiously all the time, and carries (key word being carry, because he doesn't ever touch it to the floor) a cane. At 90 years old, none of that really matters to him, he's happy to be here in whatever capacity. That's thinking gracefully.
Everyday my grandpa works out. Why? Because 16 months ago he had a stroke that affected his balance. Unlike most 89 year olds, who at that point, though unhappy about it, would have given in to their old age, he was not okay with being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his time here. He was not okay with not being able to live in his own home, navigate the grocery store, walk up the ten thousand stairs in my house, and play his great-grandkids. So he went to an intensive rehab hospital and now everyday he walks on the treadmill for at least 45 minutes, at various inclines and speeds, rides the stationary bike for at least 15 minutes, writes the alphabet with a swiss ball for his balance, does overhead presses, chest presses, biceps curls, kettle bell squats, and leg extensions. That's living gracefully.
Grace is something I think about a lot. I repeatedly tell myself to be graceful (it's a work in progress). I'm not sure how long it took my grandpa to become as generous, kind, and graceful as he is now, but I know he has been like that for at least the last 20 years. According to my mom, he's been that way for at least the last 49 years. He is a special human being, one I emulate, adore, and look up to for everything. If there is any human who could encompass grace in it's entirety, it is my grandpa. We're in Hawaii and he is in the hospital on a massive amount of ketamine (stuff sucks), getting his leg wrenched back into place, and he will surely wake up smiling. I hope I can be that graceful by the time I'm 90.
Writing is something I have always been passionate about. I love sharing my stories, my thoughts, my advice, but mostly, I write to record memories and express myself. So here are a few of my fondest memories, best and worst moments, my most profound and boisterous thoughts, and riskiest advice. Enjoy!