Dear Grandma, What I Want You to Know Before You Go

Dear Grandma, What I Want You to Know Before You Go

I love you grandma, and never forget it.
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Sometimes words aren't enough to express what you mean to me. Sometimes I don't know how to say it right; sometimes I don't know how to say it at all. You're too extraordinary of a person to confine to descriptions of my feelings or complimentary adjectives. You deserve to be recognized in more than just words, for words will not do you justice. Memories of you will forever be etched into my heart and soul; but, for the memories I can't share with others I will do my best to honor you with words.

As I have gotten older, I have begun to see a lot of you in me. Sometimes I say something or do something and instantly smile because I know exactly who I got it from. I crave chocolates and desserts a little too often, and I'm pretty sure it has something to do with you and your sweet tooth. When I pull back my hair to put it into a ponytail I see the same little ears you have & feel instantly more beautiful seeing a part of you on me. Every time I wish I was a little taller, I remember how much I love being the petite frame I am because I am just like you. As for the 45 pairs of shoes sitting in my closet, we all know who I got that obsession from.

Let's not forget a few of my favorite things I have inherited from you. When it comes to me being extremely particular and fair, perhaps it has something to do with you counting every single M&M in our snack bags to make sure we all had an equal amount. One of my absolute favorite qualities I learned from you is your firecracker energy. They say "good things come in small packages". I can only hope I embody your determination, wit, intelligence, and optimism throughout my life as gracefully as you have.

Perhaps my favorite quality of all, that I can only hope to learn from you, is your unconditional love and loyalty to those who are most important to you. Your love radiates from within, your smile beams with joy. In the Bible, we are asked to love others with the unconditional love that God has for us, and I have always felt God's love from you. Whether it be a smile, a hug or an "I love you", I always feel and see the love you hold in your heart for me and for others. You wear your heart on your sleeve, and my, what a beautiful heart it is.

It's undeniable that we have a special connection. It's as though God said, "I pick you and you; you two will be soul mates". When we both got sick 5 years ago, as much as it felt (and feels) unfair, I honestly would not be where I am or who I am if I didn't have you fighting by my side. When we would FaceTime from our hospital beds, I was always comforted because I knew someone understood how I felt even though I never spoke of my feelings. There was an unspoken understanding between us and I never would have mentally made it through the years without you by my side, giving me a reason to fight. We have had great days and we have also had some of the worst days of our lives, but we have gotten through them together, hand in hand, side by side. If I could take all the pain and suffering you have ever gone through away from you and carry it for you, I would do it in an instant. Seeing you smile and radiate joy is the most fulfilling thing in my life, so I wake up and fight every day so I can see your smile another time.

You gave me the will to fight, day in and day out. Every time I wake up and prove that my illness is not in charge of my life, I think of you. Because the most beautiful woman in the world taught me that our circumstances do not define us, we define ourselves. When I think of all the amazing accomplishments you have made throughout your lifetime I can't help but beam with pride and hope that I am half the woman you are. You are undoubtedly the bravest, most courageous and strongest woman in the world. You wake up every day with a smile, a goal and a fire within you to fight until you can fight no longer. But, I'm here to tell you, as you have told me, it's okay to not be okay.

I am so thankful that God blessed me with my soul mate & my angel on earth. Never have I met someone with such a pure, authentic and selfless heart. You have made every day of my life brighter and I can only hope to impact someone's life as much as you have impacted mine. Thank you for all the joy, laughter and love you have filled my life with. You forever have my heart.

I love you grandma, and never forget it.

Cover Image Credit: Alex Wilkins' Photo

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18 Things That Happen When You Get A Good Roommate

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Whenever you hear about roommate stories, they're almost never good, and they usually scare you into never wanting a roommate. "Did you hear her roommate steals her clothes?" "Her roommate doesn't shower!" "Wow, her roommate doesn't talk at all, and doesn't do laundry." From what I hear, there are more bad stories than good. That is why I consider myself lucky, because my roommate is nothing like one of those bad stories. When life hands you a good roommate after talking to about 40 girls through Facebook, a few things happen.

1. You always have someone to talk to.

2. You know each other's schedules, and whenever you both have a break is an exciting time.

3. You'll never have to dance alone.


4. You always have someone to do something with, even if it's just walking down the hall.

5. You both look out for each other, because this is your first time without your parents.

6. You always have a shoulder to lean on when things get tough.

7. Borrowing each other's things is a daily thing.

8. You TRY to help with each other's homework and assignments.

9. They're encouraging when it comes to boys. (Unless they're a f*ckboy.)

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13. You both know each other's favorite and least favorite things.

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Cover Image Credit: Jordan Griffin

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I'm Choosing To Spend Time With Papa While I Still Have Him

There's still time to make memories.

mmhintz
mmhintz
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So I am fortunate enough to be able to say I haven't lost many close relatives yet. As I get older though, I'm starting to think more and more about making the most out of my time with them. It's a fact of life that they aren't going to be around forever and it just hit me recently. I was talking to my Papa (my father's dad) about some things we want to work on in his workshop and I had the thought that whatever we don't get done in the next few weeks before he goes to Florida, we can take care of when he gets back in the Spring. But for how much longer am I going to be able to put these bonding experiences off?

Papa is 72. He very well might have many more years to go, but he also might not. That's something I've always kind of known in an abstract way, but it hit me for possibly the first time that he could pass away before we ever get to finish those projects we've been working on for years. Since that thought crossed my mind, I've been thinking a lot more about the time I've spent with him and how important it has been to me.

I think my favorite thing about spending time with my Papa is his pride when he teaches me something new. I've always thought something sad about life is that no matter how much you try to record your thoughts or pass things on when you die those things are lost to the rest of the world. Yeah, I can teach someone a skill I have, but I'll never pass on everything. In much the same way, I think as my Papa has gotten older and acquired so many different experiences that he really wants to be able to pass those things on. When I work with him I always make a point to reference things he has taught me and I love seeing the pride in his eyes when he knows I actually listen to what he says.

This weekend I'm driving up to West Branch and working on some of those projects we've been putting off for the last few years. I think we all need to take more time to appreciate the people we care about. This isn't just about grandparents, either. You never really know how much time you have left with the people that are important to you, so absolutely spend as much time as you can with them. I'm going to make some more memories with my Papa, and then I'm going to start making time for the rest of the important people in my life.

mmhintz
mmhintz

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