5 Reasons You Need To Call Your Grandma

5 Reasons You Need To Call Your Grandma

If you even need a list, which you shouldn't, just call her.

My grandma and I talk on the phone every week, usually for a little over an hour on Sunday afternoons. I try to make a list before we chat, of things I've done that week which I can tell her about to show that I'm being social and active, but the list is scrapped after the first ten minutes of conversation and we're chatting along like we have all the time in the world. If you need a little inspiration to call your grandmother, look no further than this list.

1. She cares about what you're doing

If anyone is going to listen (or at least pretend to listen) about your classroom mix up, it's her. You're her grandbaby and even if your troubles are silly or small, she's at least going to hold the phone to her ear and hum back every once in a while. Maybe she doesn't actually care, if you have a grandma who's not as great as mine, but I'm pretty sure it's in the grandma contract that they have to pretend anyways.

2. She'll make time to listen

Grandmas are usually retired, but even without a job my grandma is sometimes busier than I am. Which makes sense, because all of her friends are retired and my grandma is a super fun person to hang out with, why wouldn't she be busy? If she's busy the first time you call, call again later. I know very few people in the world who will make time for me the way that my grandmother will.

3. Great advice

Because she's been where you've been and even if she hasn't been, she's still smarter than you. More experience means more knowledge and she's probably willing to share some of that knowledge with you if you reach out and call her. Even if the advice she gives isn't what you want to do or what you're going to do, second opinions are always helpful. Sometimes you need to look at a problem from another vantage point to solve it, which is exactly what a grandma can do.

4. Reciprocity

My grandma sends me letters about once every two weeks and although the phone call to letter exchange isn't exactly a trade, it's an unspoken agreement at this point. After opening emails and texts all day it's nice to have something in your hands a person sat down and took the time to hand write for you. Letters are underrated. I know very few things more exciting than fighting with your mailbox and actually coming away with mail for yourself and not just your roommates.

5. Because you can

We all love to act like time doesn't affect us or the people we love, but we are not impervious to the aching and wearing that the clock gives us all. Someday it's not going to be as easy as picking up the phone to get in touch with the one you love, so do it now while you can.

Are you still reading this? Go call your grandma.

Cover Image Credit: my photo

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Dear Mom, Now That I'm Older

A letter to the woman who made me the woman I am today.

Dear Mom,

Now that I'm older, I definitely appreciate you a lot more than I did as a kid. I appreciate the little things, from the random text messages to constantly tagging me on Facebook in your "funny" photos and sending me pins of stuff I like on Pinterest. Now that I'm older, I can look back and realize that everything I am is all because of you. You've made me strong but realize it's okay to cry. You've shown me how a mother gives everything to her children to give them a better life than she had, even when she's left with nothing. And, most importantly you've taught me to never give up and without this, I would not be where I am today.

Mom, now that I'm older, I realize that you're the best friend I'm ever going to have. You cheer me on when I try new things and support me in deciding to be whatever person I want to be. Thank you for never telling me I can't do something and helping me figure out ways to be the best woman I can be. Your love for me is unconditional. They say true, unconditional love can only come from God, but mom, I think you're a pretty close second.

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Now that I'm older, I don't get to see you as much. But not seeing you as much just makes the times I do get to see you the absolute best, and I look forward to it every time. Now that I'm older, I'm not going to live at home. But, I promise to always come back because I know the door is always open. Your house is always going to be my home, and no other place is going to be the same.

Now that I'm older, I realize how much I miss you taking care of me. I miss you making me dinner, making sure I was doing well in school, and taking me to endless appointments. I miss you waking me up for school and then waking me up again because I didn't listen the first time.

But, Mom, now that I'm older, I can see all that you've done for me. I can look back and see how big of a brat I was but you still loved me (and let me live) anyways. I can understand why you did certain things and frankly, you're one bada** of a woman.

To have you as my mom and my best friend has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. So, Mom, now that I'm older, thank you, for everything.


Your Daughter

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There Will Never Be A Home Like Your Grandparents' House

Over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go.


I didn't realize how essential families were to the holidays until I spent the holidays missing someone who wasn't there.

My grandpaMadelyn Neal

On Christmas Day, I went to my grandmother's home in small-town Kentucky to celebrate. I was particularly worried about how empty the house would feel without my grandfather. I couldn't help but think of what I would have gotten him for Christmas, his favorite catch-phrases that I would have heard non-stop, and even what he would have ordered at Domino's (yes, our traditional Christmas meal is takeout).

But despite it all, I had a nice Christmas, and it seemed as though maybe he wasn't as far away as he previously seemed.

Wedding photosMadelyn Neal

In the short weeks after he passed, I kept waiting to "feel his presence" or a sign from him, as everyone always says you will no doubt feel. That said, I realized that it was the things he left behind that really helped me to feel closer to him.

When we sat down to dinner, with his customary seat left open for him, it seemed to everyone at the table that for a moment, he was there with us.

When we made a fire in his fireplace and began to listen to the crackle, I could almost hear the typical accompanying snoring coming from his corner of the couch.

His go-to fishing pole on the deck of his pond seemed as if it was just resting after hours of use.

The next morning, when I went outside to feed his deer their daily cracked cornmeal, I swore they were listening for his whistle that signaled the dinner bell.

There truly is no place like grandmother's house.

Me and my grandmotherMadelyn Neal

There is nothing that soothes the soul better than taking on the task of feeding his deer friends, looking at old pictures and even trying on my grandmother's old wedding dress and mom's old prom dresses.

Wearing my grandmother's wedding dress.Madelyn Neal

In the spirit of New Year's resolutions, find your happy place, listen to the quiet and you'll find both yourself and your lost loved ones there. When the clock chimed at night, I felt the most at peace I have felt in a long time. I can't wait for the next visit to see my grandmother, because I know every time I visit, not only will I enjoy watching our favorite movies, learning how to knit and eating our delicious family specialties, but I'll also welcome the comforting feeling that what we have lost isn't lost, it's just not as visible as we would like.

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