When I was little, my grandma read to me every day. It is because of her that I decided to become an English major. It is because of her that I developed a talent for writing at such a young age.
My grandma died nearly 8 years ago, and there isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t think of her. Occasionally, I even dream about her--that she’s checking in on me and making sure that we’re all doing okay.
And yet, I’m glad that I remember her through the eyes of a child. She passed away when I was 11, so I only really remember her as my grandma, not as a woman with opinions so vastly different from my own.
My grandma was extremely religious, and I’m not. Even as an 11 year old, I was already doubting religion, at least the way she believed in it. She was always sure that Christianity was the correct belief system, and all others would find out later. I’m not entirely sold on this point, even to this day. For all I know, the Jewish or Pagans have it right. I’m reluctant to denounce other ways of thinking, because at the end of the day, there’s a possibility that I’m wrong and they’re right.
She also apparently thought that Barack Obama was the antichrist when he first ran for President in 2008. I don’t remember this, because as a 10 year old, my understanding of politics was very minimal.
I wonder if her opinion would have changed. I wonder why she thought he was so bad. The truth is that I don’t know.
I don’t know what she would think about politics today.
I sometimes consider the fact that if I had known my grandmother as I started to develop my own political opinions, I probably would’ve found her to be a religious hypocrite. I probably wouldn’t have liked her very much as a person sometimes, because I tend to determine my opinions on others based on what they stand for morally.
I would give anything to have more time with my grandma. But I’m glad I remember her through the eyes of a child.
I don’t see a Democrat or a Republican or a collection of moral values, I just see the woman who introduced me to "Harry Potter." I see the woman who watched the first "Twilight" movie with me, read the first two books and planned to take me to the second one in theaters.
I see the woman who signed me up for library club in the summer and bought me any book I ever wanted. I see the woman who played computer games with me, watched TV with me, danced around the kitchen with me. I see the woman who recorded every episode of Scooby Doo on VHS and would watch them with me all day. I see the woman who cooked me meals, picked me up from school and took care of me when I was sick.
I’d like to say that politics wouldn’t have tainted my view of my grandmother in any way, but I honestly fear that they would have.
She still would have been the woman that took care of me for so long, but I would’ve seen her at least a little differently if we disagreed strongly on topics that are very important to me.
I’m lucky that I have the memory of her that I do have. I still remember her, but I don’t remember the parts I wouldn’t have liked (and let’s be honest, everyone has something about them we wouldn’t like). I got to share one of the best parts of life with her. Opinions couldn’t divide us, because my opinions were on things that didn’t really matter, like what candy bar was the best candy bar.
I'm sure, though, if she were still alive today, I would be writing this piece to express how glad I was that I had time to know her, even if we disagreed. That's the thing about family. You grit your teeth and listen to uninformed or racist comments because at the end of the day, they're still your family and you still love them. I know this election has been hard on everyone, particularly younger generations. Never, ever give up fighting for what is right. But try to remember that it's okay to love people, even when they're wrong.