An Open Letter to My Grandmother
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I remember when I was a small child baking Christmas cookies with you. My tiny hands were the perfect size to wear cookie cutters as bracelets. You said they looked pretty, but you also told me I looked beautiful without them too. You taught me how to cook and see the beauty in myself.

To this day, I have only been able to remember one. I'll give you a hint: I can't cook mac and cheese. Sometimes I cannot even make a bowl of cereal. However, I know how to look in the mirror, take in my scars, my curves, my flaws and wear my body with a smile. I'm doing it right now, and that is all thanks to you.

If there is anything most paramount you wanted me to remember it is that sunsets are lovely endings and that coffee is a MUST. Mom always wonders where my paychecks go. I tell her it is probably going to my coffee addiction.

I remember when you moved downtown a block away from that cute little coffee shop. I had only ever gone to Starbucks… I know… I was uncultured to downtown Paducah. I thought it was old and worn down, but it had so much history. So much life. I only went to that coffee shop because you wanted me to. I recall how nervous I was. I was the kind of person that hid in a social shell. I hadn't recognized myself yet and was, quite frankly, terrified of social interactions. But that didn't stop you from taking me, did it?

I had just started dabbling in poetry. Coincidentally, that same coffee shop hosts an Open Mic Night every Friday. Yep, you guessed it. I was even more terrified. I had only read my poetry to you. To me, it felt safe with you. I felt safe with you, so when you encouraged me to perform my poetry, I knew it was okay. You were there watching me. You taught me how to express myself by doing what I love.

I think back to that night a lot. If it weren't for you, I would have never found my voice. I would have never met these people, these friends that I consider family, this coffee shop that I call home. I wouldn't have the life I have now if it wasn't for you. It's the little things that count, you know? They make a big difference.

You are not just my grandmother; you're an antique. You possess so much history in your veins and so much love in your heart. I don't know who I would be without you, but before my friends, before the poetry, before I thought I was beautiful, you already thought I was. I love you.

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