Waldina was my maternal great-grandmother. Her life story has inspired generations of our family. I write about what inspires me.
She died in the spring of 1989 at the age of 88. Since she lived so long, I actually got to know her, she outlived both of my grandmothers and one grandfather. She was always old, in my earliest memories of her, she was old. Yet, she was not old in spirit, she was always up for a dance or a heated political discussion, that is, if she could find anyone who could keep up with her. She was a pro-choice liberal democrat atheist to the core. She is probably the reason why I am those things now and why most of my family is at least a couple of those things. She was outspoken, opinionated, and always right. The perfect matriarch.
When she died, a small joint savings account was discovered in mine and her name. I do not know when she had opened it, but it was for her first great grandson. I kept it a couple years, I guess actually seven, putting money into it whenever I could. I then took the money she left me and the money I matched and bought a white gold ring. I wear it on my right ring finger. It reminds me of who I am and who paved the way for me. It reminds me to make active decisions and be active. It reminds me to love, work hard, and when I can, drink beer and dance. Mostly, it reminds me of her.
We change over time, our beliefs and priorities change. Never just fall into a rut and do things because you have always done them, always be active in your decisions and choices. Keep yourself investigating and learning, don’t let things that are new and different scare you.