Throughout our life, we have those people that make a lasting impact on us. We remember words they said to us for years, we remember the way they laugh, we remember their food tasted, we remember the way they could just give you a look and you would be instantly calm. For me, one of those people is my Grammy.
Throughout my dad’s illness when I was growing up and then after he died, Grammy was a constant in my mom’s and my life. She would calm us when we were upset, she would constantly have a wonderful meal cooked for us, she would walk to pick me up from school in any weather to make sure I got home safely. She spent more time in Dallas with us than in St. Louis where she lived, especially the last ten months of my dad’s life. She was our constant rock and I considered her my third caregiver.
Grammy was a special woman. She had a way of lighting up a room just by her presence in it. She was soft spoken, but was wonderful with words. She would write poems and stories about both of her children and all four of her grandchildren for each birthday and special event we experienced. I know I always looked forward to reading how she would remember these events.
On this day 14 years ago, we said goodbye to our rock. She had a well fought fight with pancreatic cancer almost a year after finally moving to Texas to be with my mom and I on a permanent basis. As soon as she had moved in September of my 7th grade year, I spent every day with her. I was constantly by her side if I wasn’t at school, and I loved that she would not have to bribe me to let her leave to go home for a bit back in St. Louis. Yes, the woman would have to pay me a penny (as a baby it was a penny, the rate increased to a dollar when I hit elementary school) in order to be able to go home to pay her bills before the era of online internet bill pay. Throughout her last 8 months here with us, I got to help take care of her. Many 13 and 14 year olds would not find joy in this role, but I saw it as an opportunity to repay her for 14 years of constant love and home cooked meals. There were days that were hard, but I wouldn’t trade those months for anything. She spent time imparting last words of wisdom and sharing secrets of life with me. On this day, I think of her and remember the lessons. I thank her for being my second star that I have continuing to watch over me. I take time to think about what she passed down to me from personal qualities to cookie recipes.
So today, Grammy, thank you for the lessons, thank you for your constant love and hugs, thank you for all the home cooked meals, and thank you for shaping me into who I am today. You are loved and appreciated more than you will ever know.