To My Late Grandmother, I Hope You Are Proud Of Me

To My Late Grandmother, I Hope You Are Proud Of Me

I can't believe it's been ten years.
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Dear Grandma Jo,

Hey, how have you been? Long time, no talk to. I know I look pretty different now. I’ve gotten taller. My hair is shorter. I can’t believe it’s been ten years. That’s why I’m writing you right now, if you couldn’t guess. I feel like a lot has changed in the last ten years with my family and my life. I bet you’re wondering what I’ve been up to since everything. I’ve been okay. I’m in school now, for writing. I don’t know if I ever told you that I liked writing. Ten years ago, I wanted to be a veterinarian and would watch Animal Planet all of the time. Instead, I went to art school. Are you proud of me?

I miss you, and my family misses you too, more than you know. Or maybe you do know. I don’t know how the afterlife works. I tend to think a lot about what life would be like if you were still alive. What would you think of my weird LARPing hobbie and would you be proud of me for getting into college even though my career choices don’t guarantee I’ll get money anytime soon. I remember when I was young, you were proud that I played french horn just like you did when you were in high school. I don’t play anymore, but I think you’d be happy to know that I at least continued playing until the end of high school. I stopped because I got braces. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that I got braces! It was terrible.

I think you would like to hear that I like talking about you with my friends. I tell them about how you were really great at leather crafting and could make just about anything from dog collars to wallets. You were really talented, but you were so modest about it. They were just things that you made. I’d also tell people about how you were born on July 3rd and that people would call you, “the firecracker that went off early.” I talk about how you’d made spanish rice and salmon croquettes and beef stroganoff and every dish you made tasted delicious. The family considered saving the recipes and making a cookbook out of them. I don’t know why we never did that.

I guess another reason why I’m writing is that I want you to know that I’m alright. That while I’ve gone through a lot of different changes and have had a lot of different life experiences, that I’m fine and I’m full of love and I think about you almost everyday. I want you to know that you are missed and you are loved by the whole family. It hurt to lose you, but we are thankful that we could spend the time with you when we did. I’m glad we got to spend that last summer with you in Minnesota. I am thankful for that last experience. I hope you’ve found peace wherever you are.

Love,

Kat

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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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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