When most people think of their grandmother, they think of an older lady who spoils them, even though your parents swear they we never treated like that. You think of getting cookies even though your mom said no more. For me, I don't think of any of that. I think of a selfless, strong woman who put a huge ray of sunshine into my life.


Me and my Grandmother at Peddlers Village for Thanksgiving Marissa Ginel


My grandmother officially came into my life in June of 2006, but she was there long before that. When I was younger, I didn't have a strong bond with her, but as the years went on, we grew closer and closer. She was my step dads' mother, so we were only related by marriage, but she took in me and my sister like we were her sons first born. Whatever we needed, she was there

In about 2013 grade my sister sat me down in my room and told me she had to tell me something. My grandmother had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.

Janet Smith was more than just a grandmother. She was the most selfless woman I had ever met. In a house like mine, we all knew if you had the good snacks it was every man for themselves. Not my grandma, there was always candy on the shelves and ice cream in the freezer. She would come upstairs and whisper to me about the latest dessert she had gotten. When my grandma turned 75, she threw herself a party and had an Elvis impersonator come. She invited just about her whole entire church, but what she asked for was the most amazing thing ever. She told everyone, "Don't bring me gifts. Bring a can of food and donate it to the food pantry." That right there was something that made me so proud to have a role model like her in my life.

My grandmother was the most selfless person I had ever met. She was always going out of her way to do things for others. She would never hold a grudge, yeah, she might be upset for a minute, but overall she was always willing to look on the brighter side of things.

After her funeral, this was something that I thought about a lot. I realized I was seeing a lot of people I hadn't seen in months some of them even years. This needed to change. I took this opportunity to reach out to some people. I didn't want to only be reunited by death, I just wanted to see people just because I can. Life is too short for all the nonsense.

No matter what age you are there's still time to enjoy the little parts of life. Be there for the people that matter, even if they are far away. Don't let the pettiness of an argument get in between you and someone you love. Put your phone down and look at the world around you, it's a beautiful place. Most importantly, find the good in all things just like my Grandmother did. She was never seen as a person who was dying. Everyone saw her as a person who was living her very best life.