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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A Letter To The Grandpas Who Left Far Too Soon

The thoughts of a girl who lost both of her grandpas too early.
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Dear Grandpa,

As I get older, my memories are starting to fade. I try to cling to every last bit of memory that I have of you. There are certain memories that have stuck well in my brain, and I probably will never forget them, at least I hope I don't. I remember your smile and your laugh. I can still remember how your voice sounded. I never want to forget that. I catch myself closing my eyes to try to remember it, playing your voice over and over in my head so that I can ingrain it in my memory.

I always thought you were invincible, incapable of leaving me. You were so young, and it caught us all by surprise. You were supposed to grow old, die of old age. You were not supposed to be taken away so soon. You were supposed to see me graduate high school and college, get married to the love my life, be there when my kids are born, and never ever leave.

My heart was broken when I heard the news. I don't think I had experienced a pain to that level in my entire life. At first, I was in denial, numb to the thought that you were gone. It wasn't until Thanksgiving, then Christmas, that I realized you weren't coming back. Holidays are not the same anymore. In fact, I almost dread them. They don't have that happy cheer in the air like they did when you were alive. There is a sadness that hangs in the air because we are all thinking silently how we wished you were there. I hope when I am older and have kids that some of that holiday spirit comes back.

You know what broke my heart the most though? It was seeing your child, my parent, cry uncontrollably. I watched them lose their dad, and I saw the pain that it caused. It scared me, Grandpa, because I don't ever want to lose them like how they lost you. I can't imagine a day without my mom or dad. I still see the pain that it causes and how it doesn't go away. There are good days and there are bad days. I always get upset when I see how close people are to their grandparents and that they get to see them all the time. I hope they realize how lucky they are and that they never take it for granted. I wish I could have seen you more so that I could have more memories to remember you by.

I know though that you are watching over me. That is where I find comfort in the loss. I know that one day I will get to see you again, and I can't wait for it. I hope I have made you proud. I hope that all that I have accomplished and will accomplish makes you smile from ear to ear. I hope that the person I marry is someone you would approve of. And I hope that my kids get more time with their grandpa than I did because the amount I got wasn't fair.

I want to say thank you for raising your child to be the best parent ever because they will one day be the best grandparent ever. Just like you.

Cover Image Credit: Katelyn McKinney

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9 Reasons Your Grandparents Are The Best Gifts You'll Ever Receive

They love us unconditionally and are always there to lend a helping hand.

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Grandparents are special. They are the leaders and foundations of our families. They love us unconditionally and are always there to lend a helping hand. The spoil us way too often! My grandparents mean the world to me. The picture above is one of my favorite photos with both my mother and my grandfather when I was a little girl. They are some of the best people in my life and have always set a good example for me. Cherish them while you can because they won't always be around! Here are nine reasons your grandparents are the best gifts you'll ever receive!

1. They give the best advice.

2. They have a lot of life experience and are willing to share it with you.

3. Their smile makes your heart warm.

4. They are so intelligent.

5. They have the best stories to share.

6. They are a great example of love.

7. Their hugs are like no other.

8. They spoil their grandchildren.

9. They love you unconditionally.

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