You Built Beautiful Things In Life, Lalo, But Your Greatest Creation Will Always Be This Home

You Built Beautiful Things In Life, Lalo, But Your Greatest Creation Will Always Be This Home

We miss you but we know you're up there looking down on us protecting us.

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Lalo is my grandfather. That's what our family calls him. He was the best grandfather anybody could have. He was such an inspiring person. He grew up from having nothing to having everything he could have—a loving wife, three kids and a supportive family. He was the type of person that would solve any problem instantly. Just by talking to him, you would be inspired to do the impossible. He accomplished the impossible. He was an architect, and along with my grandmother, they constructed houses, apartments, hotels, you name it.

Unfortunately, Lalo passed away in 2016. We were all devastated because he was our go-to person. I never imagined a life without my Lalo. But we had to learn how to live our life without him. We had to learn how to celebrate the holidays without him. Yes, it was sad at first but we learned to be happy and laugh about the happy times we had together as a family.

It's now 2018 and we have done the impossible. My uncle, along with many and many engineers, built the largest Mexican barge in history. It was all made by Mexican engineers and they accomplished it with Mexican materials. This barge is going to transport salt to various ports. I was really proud to see this with my own eyes because I never knew my family would accomplish such a thing. Before they let the water in, there were several speeches, including my uncle's. He thanked everybody that helped make this thing possible, including my grandfather. My uncle said that Lalo is up there looking down on us and being really proud of us. I was definitely proud.


Eva Curiel Muzquiz

The good thing is that the barge floats (thank god). Their next step is to build something even bigger and better. Who knows what the future has in hold for us. It's going to be an, even more, bigger barge in Mexican history. It's going to be amazing and Lalo is going to be looking down on us with a big smile on his face, knowing that we could do the impossible.

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To The Grandmothers Who Made Us The Women We Are Today

Sincerely, the loving granddaughters.
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The relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter is something so uniquely special and something to be treasured forever.

Your grandma loves you like you are her own daughter and adores you no matter what. She is the first person you run to when you have a problem with your parents and she never fails to grace you with the most comforting advice.

She may be guilty of spoiling you rotten but still makes sure to stress the importance of being thankful and kind.

Your grandma has most likely lived through every obstacle that you are experiencing now as a young adult and always knows just exactly what to say.

She grew up in another generation where things were probably much harder for young women than they are today.

She is a walking example of perseverance, strength, and grace who you aim to be like someday.

Your grandma teaches you the lessons she had to learn the hard way because she does not want you to make the same mistakes she did when she was growing up.

Her hugs never fail to warm your heart, her smile never fails to make you smile, and her laugh never fails to brighten your day.

She inspires you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

You only hope that one day you can be the mother and grandmother she was to you.

A piece of girl’s heart will forever belong to her grandma that no one could ever replace.

She is the matriarch of your family and is the glue that holds you all together.

Grandmothers play such an important role in helping their granddaughters to grow into strong, intelligent, kind women.

She teaches you how to love and how to forgive.

Without the unconditional love of your grandma, you would not be the woman you are today.

To all of the grandmothers out there, thank you for being you.

Sincerely,

the loving granddaughters

Cover Image Credit: Carlie Konuch

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There Will Never Be A Home Like Your Grandparents' House

Over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go.

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I didn't realize how essential families were to the holidays until I spent the holidays missing someone who wasn't there.

My grandpaMadelyn Neal

On Christmas Day, I went to my grandmother's home in small-town Kentucky to celebrate. I was particularly worried about how empty the house would feel without my grandfather. I couldn't help but think of what I would have gotten him for Christmas, his favorite catch-phrases that I would have heard non-stop, and even what he would have ordered at Domino's (yes, our traditional Christmas meal is takeout).

But despite it all, I had a nice Christmas, and it seemed as though maybe he wasn't as far away as he previously seemed.

Wedding photosMadelyn Neal

In the short weeks after he passed, I kept waiting to "feel his presence" or a sign from him, as everyone always says you will no doubt feel. That said, I realized that it was the things he left behind that really helped me to feel closer to him.

When we sat down to dinner, with his customary seat left open for him, it seemed to everyone at the table that for a moment, he was there with us.

When we made a fire in his fireplace and began to listen to the crackle, I could almost hear the typical accompanying snoring coming from his corner of the couch.

His go-to fishing pole on the deck of his pond seemed as if it was just resting after hours of use.

The next morning, when I went outside to feed his deer their daily cracked cornmeal, I swore they were listening for his whistle that signaled the dinner bell.

There truly is no place like grandmother's house.

Me and my grandmotherMadelyn Neal

There is nothing that soothes the soul better than taking on the task of feeding his deer friends, looking at old pictures and even trying on my grandmother's old wedding dress and mom's old prom dresses.

Wearing my grandmother's wedding dress.Madelyn Neal

In the spirit of New Year's resolutions, find your happy place, listen to the quiet and you'll find both yourself and your lost loved ones there. When the clock chimed at night, I felt the most at peace I have felt in a long time. I can't wait for the next visit to see my grandmother, because I know every time I visit, not only will I enjoy watching our favorite movies, learning how to knit and eating our delicious family specialties, but I'll also welcome the comforting feeling that what we have lost isn't lost, it's just not as visible as we would like.

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