I have had the luck and privilege to know both sets of my grandparents all my life. My maternal grandparents are vastly different from my paternal grandparents and they love me the same. I even knew one of my great-grandmothers for a while, and she taught me things that will stay with me for life.
Maybe it’s a little cliche. Maybe you’ve heard this before or you never had a good relationship with your extended family. For me, there are at least ten things that I know that my grandmothers have taught me. Just to warn you, I call my great grandmother, Grandma, as well.
1. Grape juice
Sounds like the strangest thing, I know, but before she introduced me to the wonderful taste of frozen Welch’s grape juice, I wouldn’t touch the stuff.
(Let’s just say that children’s chew-able medicine had ruined grape flavors for me.) Then one day, she takes out a bottle from the freezer and hands it to me- a bottle of frozen grape juice, like a slushy - and from then on I only drank Welch’s grape juice.
2. Crafts and Vintage Novelties
From trips around Hobby Lobby to look at all of the awesome things that they sell, to going on trips to rummage sales or farmer's markets, they've collectively given me an appreciation for small crafts and vintage items.
3. Cold coffee
My dad's mom makes the best cold coffee recipe- and she gave me the recipe!- and it's so much better than even McDonald's iced coffee, and it's healthier.
My great grandmother spent half of her time doing puzzles, and it was one of the best ways to spend quality time with her -without wearing her out- and to do word search races with her.
5. Growing a garden
Both grandmothers grow gardens- one grows mainly flowers and her entire backyard is filled with different flowers. The other grows food like corn and carrots along with a variety of other vegetables.
6. Clothes I’d have never bought for myself
I don't have that much confidence in choosing new clothes at the store, from the TV, or from a rummage sale. Luckily, my grandmother doesn't feel the same way. She buys me shirts or jackets off of TV or at the store because she thinks that I will look good in them or like them. She's been right so far.
My dad's mom is a prayer warrior like I've never seen before. Along with other experiences in life, her dedication to prayer and her earnestness in prayer has definitely inspired my own prayer life.
Both of my grandmothers enjoy music, and while both enjoy worship music and hymns, I will never forget my maternal grandmother's favorite song to play. She'd play it every time the family rented the roller rink for birthdays, at home on her record player when the grand-kids were all over, and any time I hear it, I think of her.
"Brand New Key" by Melanie (1971). This one's for you, Ma-Maw.
They always tell me that i'm beautiful, and most of the time, I don't completely believe them.
It's kind of the thing where the fact that they love me makes it feel like they are just saying it, because they love me and not because I actually am.
It's easier to love myself, to think of myself as they do when they are always so willing to tell me that they love me.
10. My parents
They know my parents better than most people, most likely better than me, and almost always give me new insight into my parents' pasts and their childhood. It's always a fascinating experience that helps me to understand more about the way my parents think, why they discipline the way they did, or to get through times where I didn't understand their actions.
So, to conclude all of that, thank you.
Thank you , Ma-Maw, Grandma Jane, and Grandmom Ruth.
I love you guys, and I will always remember the things that you've helped me to love.