18 January 2006

Jump in

(Side note- should this be your first time to my blog, skip along to the "Clearing the Air" post.. reading out of order is highly frowned upon..)

Because of obvious reasons I have spent a lot of time lately thinking of my grandma V. For those of you who may not have known her, I will hopefully offer a glimpse into this amazing woman's life through the following story-

Gathering around the pool was always central to any family get-together, as it was on this typical Arizona summer day. Sadly, I'd long since outgrown the simple joy of swimming in my grandparent's pool, leaving that task to my dozen or so younger cousins. Instead, one or two of my aunts, my grandma, myself, and a few other various family members milled about, watching a couple of the smaller folk bob around like apples during a Halloween festival. Grabbing my cousin Cody, always one of my favorites on this side of family, by the arms, I tossed him into the center of the pool. He was maybe 4 at the time and had yet to hone his skills. Still, the ever present blow-up floaties he was wearing popped him like a cork back to the surface and we were all delighted with this new found entertainment. Teeth chattering, it was seldom truly warm in this pool, he climbed back onto the side, eager for another go. Once again, through the air he flew. Only this time when he entered the water, his arms were stretched above him and the only thing to bob like a cork were the floaties. With unbelievable ease, they'd slipped right off his (still to this day) skinny arms, and he went straight to the depths of that small, kidney shaped pool. It took a few seconds to grasp the idea that, no matter how much we wished it, he wasn't going to suddenly learn to swim, and a few more as we looked around at each other with a dazed "ok, now what" look on our faces. But, before any of the rest of us could begin to form a course of action, (fishing him out with skimmer net was going to be my first plan of attack) my fully dressed, 60ish at the time, grandma was jumping in after him. Without a moments consideration of herself, feet first, she jumped in.

She lived every day of her life this way. Whereas many people I know stand around and think about how to help those around them, she was, instead, jumping in. I never knew her to not be doing something for someone else, and always with infinite compassion and inexhaustible, unconditional love. And for that, she will always be my hero.

I know all to well how overwhelming it is to move to action instead of thinking about it. Sometimes it's hard to see the value of the little things you may do for others, but the point is not to change the world, the point is to make a dent, and perhaps with all of us making dents, we really can make a this a more pleasant place for all of us to live.. In my links section you'll find a link to Volunteer Match. Go there, enter your zip code, and they will let you know of all the volunteer opportunities in your area. Think you haven't the time? Find some. Sometimes it just takes a day or two. Each position posted will give you the date and contact information, as well as an idea as to what is involved.

Don't just stand there, damn it, jump in.....


Blogger TLC said...

Grandma V sounds like an awesome woman and YOU are not far behind her!

1/18/2006 5:00 PM

Blogger leaner said...

Thanks for the link, I will definetly check it out. I am unfortunatly one of those "I'd volunteer if I knew where to go or... insert some dumb excuse here..." so you have given me one less excuse. Thanks for the swift kick in the pants.

1/23/2006 5:06 PM


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