A Letter to My Grandmother

Last fall when I started my last year of school, the first month was really hard, emotionally and physically. The coursework was a lot to handle on top of working full time and I was insanely busy in every aspect of my life. With the combination of stress, anxiety and fatigue there was this big elephant in the room that I wasn't dealing with, a secret I wanted to keep buried at the bottom of my gut. But now that school is over and I'm just waiting to hang up my diploma, I want to say out loud that I did this all for my Grandma Dorothy. She was the most voracious reader and my best friend, she went too soon and I never got to say goodbye. Unfortunately, I never had a relationship with any of my other grandparents, two passed away before I was born and my grandfather who deeply resembled The BFG (he had the kindest soul, he lived an extraordinary life and was the most beloved human being in our small town) was taken from me when I was eight years old.

Now that I'm older and have spent a lot of time watching and observing my family at get-togethers, I look at my mom and her sisters and admire the strong women they all are. And without delivering a history thesis on the women on my mother's side, I can tell you life was not all roses. In fact hardship is the best word to define and describe each person. I look at these woman and my life and think, my grandma must have been a tough but awesome mother to raise four confident, independent and out spoken women. My grandmother was stern but fair, cool and trendy and through colon and breast cancer, her unwavering courage was admirable to say the least. If she was ever scared from being sick, I never noticed. She never said no when my sister and I wanted to stay the night and play at her house. A typical night at Grandma Dorothy's included her salty tacos and root beer floats while watching Laverne and Shirley, learning to sew and sneaking into the bedroom my aunts shared growing up, playing dress up with her wigs and boa's and we especially loved going through all her makeup and perfumes. We were scared of her dark and creaky pantry, you'd think a Goosebumps monster would pop out at any moment. Wewent to the library often so she could get bags full of Danielle Steel and Jackie Collins and looked forward to her singing us to sleep when it was time for bed. If there was anyone who would be proud of this degree, it would be her. And although she is no longer with me, her spirit lives on in the work I do. I became the librarian she perhaps always wanted to be. I'm stern but fair, I'd like to think I'm cool and trendy and above all else, I hope I'm brave enough like her to be the best I can be.


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