To My Grandmas

To My Grandmas

I couldn't ever thank you enough for all that you have done for me growing up

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When it comes to growing up, oftentimes we attribute everything we have learned up until that point in our lives to the teachings of our parents. They do so much for us and are consistently there every day reminding you the do's and do not's of life. However, a lot of times our grandparents are such an integral part of who we become as we grow. A lot of times parents do the dirty work, such as punishments and scolding and maybe even a little bit of well-meaning nagging. As soon as you hear you're going to grandma's house though, all bets are off. There seem to be no better string of words in the English language as a kid.

I know that I for one became out of control with excitement when I knew I was heading to grandma's house. It didn't matter even a little bit which grandma it was. One grandma gave me unlimited access to an always full cookie jar in the kitchen, made me Mickey Mouse shaped waffles, had a beautiful flower garden I enjoyed looking at and had an entire upstairs dedicated to strictly playing and watching TV. The other grandma had tons of play clothes and jewelry, had tables and phones that could easily be made into offices, made us fake checks to spend in our fake store, had a barn full of horses, and let me stay the night just to make the best cinnamon rolls for me in the morning.

No matter how many times I wanted to stay the night, or how many new checks I wanted when all I did was scribble on the last one because I didn't actually know how to write, or how many cookies I took, or how many waffles I ate, or how messy my siblings and I made the playroom, my grandmas were right there to make me more waffles, hand me another cookie, or give me another pretend check. They have done so much for me over the years that a simple thank you could just never suffice, but it is still well deserved.

Thank you for everything you created for me, whether that be the checks, a paper driver's license for my Little Tike car, my completely awesome customized birthday cards, the space for my creative juices to flow while I was playing pretend, or the outstanding meals and desserts. Thank you for the birthday money, the Christmas presents, and the Easter treasure hunts. Thank you for giving me odd jobs to do when I was trying to raise money for trips. Thank you for the pretend driver's license so I would feel like an adult. Thank you for letting me take pictures at your house for multiple high school dances. Thank you for letting me come over just to play the grand piano. Thank you for helping me create things for school and fulfill any creative visions I had. Thank you for letting me pet the horses and ride them in your backyard. Thank you for letting me practice softball in your barn, as well as shoot baskets. Thank you for letting me leave my car there when I want to go for a run down the bike trail. Thank you for letting my siblings and I swim in the pond, despite how much you probably didn't want us to.

Thank you for the countless cookies and hugs and small gifts. Thank you for the crafts. Thank you for porch swing talks and for letting me dance through your garden and help you pick raspberries. Thank you for encouraging every single drawing I made when I wanted to design clothes. Thank you for letting me bring friends to the path behind your woods. Thank you for letting me play with Cocoa and get her worked up, even if it was a little annoying to you. Thank you for providing me with endless supplies for coloring. Thank you for the endless supply of toys upstairs and picking up after me even when it probably annoyed you. Thank you for letting me pick the roses from your flowers just because you knew they were my favorite. Thank you for letting me ride the scooters down the driveway until it got dark out, despite how boring it must have been for you. Thank you for letting me pick buckeyes from your buckeye tree.

Thank you for always showing me such an outpouring of love and for always reminding me how proud of my accomplishments you are. Thank you for continually supporting me in every way. Thank you for teaching me the manners of a lady, as well as how to knit and sew. Thank you for all that you did and continue to do for me.

I was undoubtedly a lucky gal growing up. Not only did I have wonderful parents, but my grandparents were just as great. There is absolutely no one like a grandma that fills your stomach with food, your head with knowledge, and your heart with love. Be sure to visit them every chance you get, because you won't have them forever and they're truly gifts on Earth.

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15 Reasons Your Grandpa Might Be The Greatest Person In Your Life

He loves you so much.
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Grandpa. The goofy old guy who has been with you since you were born. Maybe he lives close or maybe he lives far. Maybe he's quiet and reserved or maybe he's a complete goofball. Maybe you see him all the time or maybe he's up there watching over you. No matter the circumstance, it is important to realize that he's probably one of the best people in your life.

1. He's hilarious

Nobody can make you laugh harder than grandpa. Whether it's a hot take on a sports game or a great story, he's always there to make you crack up.

2. He's smart (and knows more than you've ever known in your lifetime)

You think you know a lot... And then you talk to grandpa. I'm telling you, this man knows everything you know times a million.

3. He raised your mom or your dad well

You may have some pretty incredible parents... Well, guess who raised them? Your grandpa is half of the reason your parent is as amazing as they are... That deserves a lot of credit and appreciation.

4. He lets you eat the good stuff

As a kid and now. As a kid, you'd get all the candy or snacks you wanted and we just kept it between us. Even now, half a quart of ice cream for each of us is a quality snack at grandpa's house.

5. He has shown you what true, beautiful love is

Whether your grandma and his partner in crime is still here or is watching over you, the love they've had for longer than your parents have even been alive is an inspiration. Since you were a child, you've had some pretty amazing role models to look up to.

6. He has however many grandkids and still keeps up with you

Whether you're the only grandkid or 1 of 30, somehow he always stays up to date about what's going on in your life.

7. He's genuinely interested in your life

You never have to feel like you're talking grandpa's ear off about your new job, your school or your relationship. He's all ears because he truly cares about you.

8. And swears to hunt down any person who hurts you

If you haven't got the "I'll kill anyone who hurts you" spiel from your grandpa, I think he's grandpa-ing wrong. You can cross me. You probably can't cross dad, but if you happen to slip through the cracks, you will not cross grandpa.

9. He's been there for all of your milestones

Whether it was your elementary talent show or your high school graduation, he's been there to watch you.

10. His job is just to love you

Grandparents' job as a whole is to love and spoil their grandkids. It makes sense why it is considered the best job in the world... And your grandpa is probably really good at it.

11. And he might be your biggest fan

No one cheers louder or high fives you harder than your grandpa, no matter if you're playing a sport or playing the piano. He is your number one fan and it is important everyone knows it.

12. He's known you your whole life

He's watched you go from a tiny baby to the incredible person you are now. And hopefully, he knows that a lot of who you are now is because of him.

13. He'd do anything for you

Name it and he'll do it. That's what people who love you like a grandpa loves their grandkid do.

14. He always has a smile for you

Sometimes your parents get mad at you and they're not happy to see you. No one is 100 percent excited to see you every time they see you... Except grandpa.

15. He loves you so incredibly much

The biggest and best reason he is so amazing is that he loves you. Unconditionally, always. You don't get a lot of those people in your life, so it is important to cherish them and love them back as strong as you can.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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Knowing That Someone You Love Is Going To Pass Doesn't Make It Any Easier

Death is never easy to deal with, not even when you know it's coming.

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I met Grandmom Doris when I was around 7, so I've known her for the better part of my life. She is my dad's wife's grandmother, but that doesn't mean I loved her any less. I have so many fond memories of making soup with her on rainy days, making mini pigs in blankets in her kitchen before parties with our cousins, walking to the McDonald's that was around the corner from her house, hearing the ice cream man and knowing Grandmom had a drawer with "Mister Toftee" money in it, because she knew how much we loved vanilla ice cream with rainbow jimmies.

She told us stories of when growing up, and we listened to her in awe. She had such a strong voice and the best laugh, and she touched the hearts of so, so many.

I remember playing hide and seek in her huge house and playing dress-up with her old clothes. We did Thomas Kinkade puzzles together, and of course, we sang and danced together too. We always had family Christmas parties at her house, and we loved doing word searches together. When she got her automatic stair climber, my sister and I loved to ride it up and down and up and down.

From the moment she met my sister and me, we were her girls. Our dad would say he'd bring his girls over to see her and she'd immediately correct him and remind him that we were hers.

Last Wednesday morning, we lost Grandmom Doris. We knew it was going to happen, and we've known for years now that it was coming. But, that didn't make it any easier to hear by any stretch of the imagination. We went to visit her the Saturday before, knowing it may very well have been the last time we'd ever see her.

I knew her time was coming to an end, but I didn't know she had only four days left.

I didn't want to go see her at first. I wasn't sure what kind of mental or physical state she was in, and I didn't want my final memories of her to be negative ones of her lying helpless in her bed.

I decided to go, and I will forever be so glad that I did. She was alert, and even sort of remembered my sister and me. Immediately upon seeing her, I realized how much I had missed her over the last few years.

She had pretty severe dementia, and she struggled to remember a lot, especially towards the end. She wanted my sister and me to sing for her, and of course, we did. We sang her John Denver, and we sang her L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole. It was on her CD as "Mama's Song," which is what all the adults in the family called her. She even sang some of it with us.

When we said goodbye to her for the last time, she took our hands and she told us "I'll never forget my girls," and she wouldn't let go.

We'll never forget you either Grandmom.

She lived a good life, surrounded by a family and friends who loved her unconditionally. She was 89, and all 89 of her years were spent loving those family and friends right back. I'd give anything just to hear another one of her stories.

I am so grateful that I had the privilege of knowing and loving such a wonderful lady for most of my life. Rest easy Grandmom Doris, you were and still are loved and cherished more than you could ever know. We love you.

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