In November of 2018, I lost my best friend. I lost the woman who taught me compassion, courage, and laughter.
She was the backbone of our family, the glue that held us all together. There wasn't anything in the world she wouldn't do for someone in need.
She gave her time to children and friends and family and there isn't a single person who would deny her time or her love.
She would make everyone laugh until their sides hurt and give the biggest, warmest hugs.
She would let me dip my finger in her red wine even though she knew I'd make the same disgusted face every time.
She had more patience and understanding than anyone could ever hope to have. She loved the hardest and the most powerfully.
She was giving, caring, and happy - I don't think I ever saw my grandmother sad. She always inspired me to be happy and to be thankful for everything I have.
Now that she's gone, she inspires me more than ever to focus on the happy parts of life and to never take anything for granted.
There is nothing I wouldn't do to hold her hand again. To hear her laugh, to jump in the lake with her, to drive all the way to Orlando to go to Ikea even though there was nothing there we needed.
It is heartbreaking to know that my future spouse and children will never meet my grandmother, but that just inspires me, even more, to live my life as she did and to love in a way that reminds people of her.
She was taken from us so unexpectedly, and that pain is still here, but I know that she is no longer suffering and never has to worry about anything ever again. We still miss her every day.
She could never be replaced, but it is my goal in 2019 to love and care for others as she did. She taught me so many irreplaceable lessons and truly showed me some of the best things in life (like Toby Keith's music and Salvador Dali's art). She will live on through so many different parts of my life and through so many different people and for that I am so thankful.
Rest in peace, g-ma.