I know that numerous times I have mentioned my Grandma on this blog, but for some reason I feel like she deserves some more credit in a post today. My Grandma is and will always be my inspiration. She is intertwined in every ounce of me, she has taught me so much. She has been a woman whom I have always looked up to.
Six and a half years ago, shortly after Gabe and I got engaged, she was diagnosed with lung cancer, at that moment I could see my world crashing down. She had amazing doctors and with prayer and those doctors her cancer was cured with surgery alone. Shortly after she climbed to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite and now watches our boys EVERY Thursday. She is my biggest inspiration and a women I am proud to know.
Growing up as a kid my stable family life came about 30 minutes from home at my Grandma's. It was there that I saw how to clean the house during the day, follow a Weight Watcher diet, grocery shop, bake, and prep dinner. Then at 5:30 P.M. I met Papa on the corner after the "van pool" dropped him from the city. Him and I would walk hand in hand to the dinner Gram and I prepared. We would sit at the table, say our dinner prayer, and then grub on our amazing dinner and chat about the day. I saw Grammy and Papa kiss when he came home, Papa do much of the dinner clean up, and then our yummy dessert would be served in the living room. If it was Wednesday I was to play in the "sewing room" during bible study class, then when class was over I could come out and enjoy dessert with the classmates. My Summers at Grammy and Papa's will always be remembered. The neighborhood was amazing, one of those out of a movie. I had friends I made in that neighborhood which will never be forgotten and will always remain friends, we came home when the street lights came on, and we walked to the he swim center a couple days a week. Sunday was never without church and Friday was always dinner out.
My childhood had three sides, and in essence I believe that made me who I am. I had this life that came straight from the burbs and a movie. With toenail painting, books, amazing friends with great families, cooking lessons, garage play, 5:30 dinners, prayers before dinner, pizza in the living room, and a tuck in and prayer before bed. I also have seen the bachelor pad, with a fun Dad who loves to hunt, the Dad who worked hard, and the Dad who didn't put his first born first. I have also seen the Mom who would give her daughter ANYTHING. A Mom who had a baby and marriage a little too young. The Mom who would sacrifice anything to be sure her daughter had the shoes, jeans, activity or item she wanted. The Mom who wanted nothing more than for her daughter to succeed. The Mom whom would make payments to the Gram for the special scooter the daughter wanted for Christmas. The Mom who would work three jobs. The Mom whom was cool, the Mom whom wanted to show me that things come from working hard and NOTHING should be handed to you. The Mom who made me feel like I could tell her anything. Like in 8th grade I couldn't wait to get home to tell her I played tonsil hockey with my crush/boyfriend.
While my Gram showed me the life I want my boys to have, my Mom and Dad showed me what it was like to have hard working parents whom are also like friends. Not to say that my amazing Gram isn't and wasn't my friend, but when I hit about 13 the conversations then leaned toward my Mom. At that point my Dad had moved out of state and that is when it was just Mom and I, where her and I went through those teenage years alone. The years when I wanted her to leave me alone, but I know now it was only because she cared.
I have come from three extremes and they all helped to mold me into the woman I am and the Mom I want to be. I want for my boys to know all those sides of me. I want to thank the Gram for showing me that life and marriage do work and that the wonderful home life isn't just for the movies, it is what I strive for. I love each and everyone of my mentors, but my Gram holds an amazing place in my heart. I will NEVER drive past "The Cherry Tree Store" without thinking of my amazing Grandma. That is the store we used to meet half way at to trade me between Mom and Gram. I pray each day that Gram sticks around for another 15 years so that the boys have the pleasure of spending more time with her. I want for nothing more than for her to teach them even half of what she taught me and I want them to remember her and all her amazing qualities.