We had originally hoped to make it to California to visit some of my family before we took off for Mongolia, but it ended up not happening. Fortunately, some of those relatives made it up here, and we were able to visit with them on Saturday. One of these relatives was my 90 year old grandmother who is one of my favorite people in the whole wide world. As far as matriarchs go, she is stellar.
Because she was flying home the same day we were hanging out with our family, Eric and I took her to the airport, which was on our way back home. I was able to get a gate pass so that I could accompany her to her gate and spend some additional time with her before she flew back to California.
While waiting, I asked her if she had any final advice for me before we moved to Mongolia. She paused, then said, “Remember that people are the same everywhere you go. There are a lot of good people and a few bad ones. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but don’t be stupid.” Then she laughed.
It was really good advice. I had been thinking of how hard it was going to be to adjust to a new culture and to be mute in the face of a language barrier, but Grandma’s been around long enough to know that those are small hurdles in the grand scheme of things and that people are, well, people. It was just the right thing for me to hear.