My Grandma was a very special person in my life.
She was, to me, the very essence of family. As devoted to her family as the day is long, Grandma always seemed to put all of us ahead of herself.
Grandma had a hard life in a lot of ways. She grew up in the Great Depression and later lost two of her children. But I remember she always had a positive attitude, and she was the most giving person I have ever known. She always helped my mother and I whenever we needed anything. I remember she used to babysit me when I was little. She'd carry me around over her shoulder singing "Sack of potatoes". I remember she always used to sing funny old songs.
As a child I liked to play with paper dolls, make up stories and draw pictures. Grandma always encouraged my imagination and creativity and said she liked my pictures (even though they were probably awful.) I used to love spending the night at Grandma's house. We'd watch TV, and I'd fall asleep on the couch. Then in the morning she'd make me Cream of Wheat. Later we'd laugh at my grandfather as he danced the polka around the living room.
My Grandma and I were very close. I felt like I could talk to her about anything. I remember when I got into that awkward puberty stage where you start to like boys and you want them to like you, and you start to worry about your looks. I remember Grandma told me to always keep a little smile on my face. I've had people comment about my smile and say they wonder what's behind it. It's more like who - Grandma.
I learned from my Grandma that family is the most important thing. I was a teenager when she died, and I remember the last time I saw her she was in the hospital, and I remember I just started crying, and I hugged her and said, "I love you so much." She said, "I know." I am so glad we had that special last moment together.
When we are children we have no concept of time moving forward. We are blissfully ignorant of the future and the inevitable adulthood that brings with it greater responsibilities and challenges that we have to deal with on our own.
Sometimes I wish I could go back and be in that time once again when I was just enjoying my childhood. When things were simpler and worries were few. When I had all of my family there for me and could not even imagine them not being there.
I'll always treasure my memories of my Grandma.