A single working mom with two kids was lucky to have you as her mother.
I remember on-call nights for mom being the best sleep-overs for us. You'd pick us up from school in the old mini-van with snacks ready. You always knew what both of us liked. Now, whenever my car is in the shop, I drive that same mini-van that you used to pick us up from school and swim practice in. It's funny, the van still smells like those swim practice afternoon's; a little bit of sunscreen and chlorine. I still have the first pair of "big girl pearl" earrings that you swore I would lose. You taught us so many things and opened our world to so many possibilities. Grandma, You'd Be Proud.
You taught me to bake, cook, and how to make a smoothie.
We used to argue about adding yogurt in the smoothies to make them smoother because I couldn't get past the whole yogurt and ice thing. You were right, I was just stubborn. As always. You always used to fuss at me about making a mess and never cleaning them up. If you were here now, you'd be proud of how I clean them all up. You'd be proud of how I use the tips and tricks that you taught me. I guess part of me feels you there with me whenever I start to cook or make our famous pumpkin pie.
You showed me my passion for all things arts and craft.
You pushed and paid for me to take art classes, and took me to class every Wednesday. You never said "No" when I felt the inspiration to paint or draw, encouraging me to listen to my mind's interests and the things that I find joy in. You taught me to sew, so now I can repair all the rips and holes that I get in my clothes. I used to look at your paintings and think to myself, "I'll paint like that one day." If you were here now you'd be proud of how far I've come. I still can't paint or sew as well as you could, but you had way more practice.
Just this past weekend (while I was in the process of writing this) we were looking through the Warehouse Across The Street, which is filled with your paintings, old pictures, and memories. We came across the tiny high chairs that you and grandaddy had stored there once we had gotten too big for them, and I was taken back to the memories of you fussing at us for starting to eat before saying the blessing. Grandad pulled out one of your old paintings, and I was further reminded of the impact you made on my creative tendencies. I ended up snagging the old foot-stool that I remember from my childhood, stored in the warehouse so we wouldn't break it. I promise I'll keep it safe now.
I remember when I had "imaginary friends". I was mad at you one day and told you that I had an imaginary grandmother that would let me do whatever I wanted. You used to think I was so funny when I didn't get my way, and you held your ground. I remember jumping out from behind corners and scaring you so many times that you started to get mad whenever I did it. I remember getting frustrated with you when you'd do that thing with your arms after school when we were listening to music; you'd tell me I would miss things like that when you were gone. You were always right.
Grandma, you've been on my mind recently.
The "big girl pearl" earrings have grown too small for me; I now wear pearl's that you used to wear, and I rarely ever take them out. I miss our nights in the "girls room". I thank you for the love and comfort I now find in baking. Thank you for all that you showed us while you could. Thank you for being one of the main women I look to for strength. Thank you for being an example of grace and compassion up until your last breaths. Cancer was something that you had beat twice before, but the third came out of nowhere and it was too late. You may not be with us today, but I know you're watching over us. Grandma, I know you're proud.