I don’t know how you do it, but you always continue to be the most amazing person on this planet. From every care package and shopping trip to our baking marathons and trips to old bookstores, you have given me memories I won’t ever forget. I don’t know how you can take flour and a handful of eggs and somehow make the best cookies in the world, but hey, that’s what your grandma taught you how to do—and I hope to teach my granddaughter the same thing someday. Your background fully shaped you into the outspoken, no-filter person you continue to be. I am glad to have gotten that from you. The fearlessness to say whatever comes to your mind is bold and sometimes embarrassing, but hey, you have an opinion and you aren’t keeping it in.
You have given me the world. Literally. I couldn’t imagine a better travel partner. Italy would never be the same without you in your apartment in Florence. Every story you told over a glass of rosé and heaps and piles of bread made me laugh, cry and smile in a way I never knew I could. You gave me the opportunity to see the beauty of the varied human cultures of the world. You allowed me to experience true art with my own eyes that will forever impact my worldview.
I have a lot to learn from you. Thank you for showing me what it means to lay down everything for those you love. I could never imagine raising two babies and still going to school so that you could further your career and provide for your family further. I couldn’t fathom the thought of constantly sacrificing your own wants for the betterment of others. I can’t even count how many people have been impacted by your sunny and loving personality. I swear, any time we walk into a grocery store, one of your “all grown up” second-grade students comes up and tells me, “Your grandma…well let’s just say you are one lucky girl to have a woman like that in your life.”
Yeah, you might ask how things are going in the boyfriend department a lot, but you only want to make sure that someone is taking care of me when you can’t. You never fail to bring up school and make sure I am doing everything and anything to get ahead. In the moment, I think, “Damn grandma, can’t a girl take a nap?”, but I know you have my best interests at heart. You just want to make sure that I am achieving my dreams because you believe I can. You still tell me I look gorgeous when I walk in with a ratty t-shirt. You never cease to make me feel special.
Grandma, you are the strongest woman I know. Thank you for showing me what it means to be a loving human being. You might have grown up in a different time, a time when people went to swing dances for dates and went “steady,” but you started a change. You proved what women can do. You proved that a woman can chase her dreams no matter what. From your advice, I will keep that beautiful smile on my face and let the world know who I am.
See you soon!
Photo 1: Chas Kuhn Comic
Photo 2: Author Contributed