Lessons From The Wise Grandmother

A grandmother (or any old person for that matter) always has something to say about your health and your habits and how they know best and so on, especially Bosanka Baba—a Bosnian grandmother. Mine is no exception. Today, when I went to have dinner with my grandmother, I was assaulted immediately upon arrival with these criticisms and such. Most of the time I ignore the nagging suggestions; I don’t really need to wear slippers when I walk on tile nor do I need to wear an undershirt in the middle of summer (or ever actually, that’s what jackets and cardigans and sweatshirts are for). But I did take away one lesson that I hope I never forget…


We were all sitting around, me, my cousin, uncle, aunt and grandmother, waiting for coffee when my grandmother insisted she show me something. From one drawer in her bedroom dresser she pulled out a framed picture of her and my grandfather from their wedding. I hadn’t ever met this grandfather, as he had passed away when my mother was just about my age (but I will say he was damn handsome, good job, grandma!). I asked her what his name was—though I had seen pictures, I don’t think I ever knew his name. This surprised her naturally. She told me that one day, what I have to do is write down the names of all my family members and when they were born and how they are related to me… essentially, to make my own little family tree. And I realized that I don’t actually know the names of all the family I have living, or how precisely they are related to me. But I should! I should know all this. I—who have been longing for that big, crazy, loud family—should know all this! In fact, I think I’ll make a little craft project out of it when I come home. So there you have it, among all her nagging and criticisms on my health habits, that one bit of wisdom stuck with me most.

2 responses to “Lessons From The Wise Grandmother

  1. Grandmother’s are always worth listening to, and this is good advice. I have 22 first cousins, and 14 aunts and uncles, and they’re all amazing people.

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