To get the whole picture, you’d have to know my grandma a bit more. It’s hard to capture her vibrancy in words fully, but I’ll do my best. She was pure fun and joy. She was vivacious and had a charm and energy that filled up a room. If you were hosting a party, she is the person you would want there, and the party wouldn’t start until she arrived. People gravitated to her warmth and energy, and she made friends everywhere she went. She loved life, and you felt it when she was around you. Her sense of adventure (and sweet mischief) was palpable, and no visit was without a lot of laughing.
I was lucky to live a short train ride away for many years, and on one occasion, I joined her for the day and a family dinner. She picked a restaurant where she knew on this night there would be a live musical singing act. Of course, nothing was ever boring when we were hanging out with Grandma Paula. As the music got going, at almost 90 years old, she was dancing away at the table. Swaying to the music and singing along at points, it was clear she was having a ball.
As the evening ended, a woman who must have been in her 40s approached our table. She gave my grandma a big hug and said to her, “When I’m your age, I want to be just like you.”
At the time, I didn’t give it much thought and wrote it off as another time a stranger fell in love with Grandma while we were out and about (it happened frequently). However, it is a moment that I now think about often while working on starting this company. Getting older was not without challenges, but she gave us such an example of how to age while still keeping her joyful, fun-loving engagement in the world. It’s that spirit that we hope comes across in everything we create with Birdie & Claire.
Looking back now, I think that woman in the restaurant summed it up pretty perfectly. When I’m her age, if I’m lucky, I can only hope to be just like Grandma Paula.