One Of My Best Friends Is An 86-Year-Old Woman

One Of My Best Friends Is An 86-Year-Old Woman

The close relationship I've had with my "Mamaw" has been one of the biggest blessings in my life.
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The headline for this probably sounds weird to you, but it's true. I consider my grandmother to be one of my very best friends. We've been close for as long as I can remember and I can't imagine being anything close to who I am today without her guidance and support.

"Mamaw," as we call her, or "MJ" (short for "Mamaw Jo") has been a huge influence in my life since I was small. I spent countless hours at her house eating home-cooked food, making birthday cakes for stuffed animals, and learning how to be who I am today.

Together with my grandfather, "Papaw," she showed me the proper way to make biscuits and gravy and how to play cards. The two of them made sure that each one of their seven children, almost twenty grandchildren, and now close to ten great-grandchildren knew nothing but kindness and unconditional love from them.

Fast forwarding now to my college years and I begin to find this entire new respect for M.J.

We'd always been close, but over the course of the three semesters I'd been in college, I had been learning more and more of her story and of my family history. She did all of those things for us when we were little, but her life before that blows me away sometimes. She had to stop going to school after sixth grade to help take care of her large family, yet she still held a full-time job after her kids went to school to help out with income.

She took care of her husband, her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren with little to no complaining, even when money was really tight or when one of us was being a brat.

She has spent her entire life meeting every challenge and every person with nothing but kindness, patience, and love.

I discovered that she truly is one of my best friends over winter break; I spend quite a bit of break staying with her while she recovered from a fall. During this time, the limited options of things to do in our small town were narrowed even further due to snow, so we spent a lot of time in her house drinking coffee (which, according to her "can fix anything") and reading books, something that we've both always loved to do.

In those quiet winter moments spent sitting by a fire, stories were swapped, laughs were had, and, as corny as it sounds, memories were made. That's when it dawned on me that there was little to no difference between hanging out with Mamaw and hanging out with my friends at school.

Is it weird to think that my grandmother is one of my best friends? Not in the slightest.

Her wisdom and guidance are something that I value deeply. The fact that I've gotten to have this really unique and close relationship with her for my entire life is something that I consider to be a huge blessing not just because of her, but also because I know how rare it is. I'll never be able to truly express how cool and amazing she is as a role model, grandmother, and friend.

Now, to you, MJ, best friend, thank you for being all that you are. I love you "all there is and more too!"

Cover Image Credit: Lily Snodgrass

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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For Nana And Papa, Your Number-One Supporters Now And Forever

You guys are so amazing, words will never be able to capture the love I have for you both, but I can try my best.

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You guys have always supported me, and I am forever thankful for the support you have given me. Especially with me going off to college a couple of years ago, you never fail to tell me how proud you are, and you always make sure that I know I am loved.

You both have gone above and beyond in every aspect of my life, and I am forever grateful for you. From birth to now, I have never doubted that you guys are on my side and that you guys are the most amazing people to walk this planet. I'd like to say thank you for some of the things that you do for me (because it is actually impossible to cover it all).

Thank you for sending me mail.

Besides the constant reminders to set up accounts to this or that, you always send cute cards with sweet messages inside, and you never fail to brighten my day. Spending holidays away from home is hard, it takes every bit of strength I have to not make the trip home, but you make sure that I feel some extra love on those days.

Thank you for supporting me through all of my sports adventures as a child.

Baseball, basketball, softball, and any other sport with a ball. You were always there, cheering, bringing me snacks, and rooting on my team. You made sure that I was always on time and trying my hardest — thank you. Because of this, I know that to this day you are still cheering me on through midterms and finals and all of the group work in between.

Thank you for all the homemade cookies.

This is a joint effort for both of you, and I know that because one makes the cookies and the other saves a baggie for me. There is something about the drive back to school after a visit home, and I think it is a little easier when you can taste home. Thank you for passing along the amazing recipe that has fueled our family for years (I definitely don't make them whenever I am homesick...).

Thank you for giving me some great life values.

Sometimes I have to step back and realize that not everyone was raised like I was, and they don't know that what goes around comes back around. You made (and are still making) me a better person. Even if you are just telling me to calm down and that things will be okay; you continually make me a better and more understanding person.

Thank you for having an always open door for me.

That means more than you probably know, but I don't know who I would be if I couldn't constantly be surrounded by you both. You always welcomed me with love, acceptance, and usually a snack. To this day I find it so odd when others have to ask their grandparents if they can visit when I could burst through the door at midnight and nothing would be awkward.

You both have given me the gift of knowing that no matter what I am loved, and that no matter what I am always surrounded by people who care. You both are beyond amazing, I don't know what I did to deserve your amazing love, but I am so thankful that I have it.

I love you both so so so much.

Thank you!

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