The Thank-Yous My Grandparents Never Got To Hear

The Thank-Yous My Grandparents Never Got To Hear

I know if you could see me now, you'd be proud.
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Warning, sappy content ahead

When I was growing up, both my mom and dad worked through the weekdays. So like many kids in their younger years, I grew up around my grandparents more than my parents. My grandfather and grandmother- "pawpaw" and "mawmaw" — were both retired, and my grandmother preached most of her life.

Growing up, my mawmaw and pawpaw weren't the richest people, but they saw to it that my sister and I never went without anything, and most of the time we always got what we wanted. I remember every Friday afternoon mawmaw would pick us up from school and take us to the "beauty shop" to watch her get her hair done.

She'd always buy us candy while we were there, and then we would go eat at the Huddle House (mawmaw's favorite place) after if we behaved well. Then on the way back home, we would stop at the gas station and mawmaw would buy us any candy and sodas we wanted, then put it on pawpaw's credit bill, much to pawpaw's chagrin.

Thank you, mawmaw, for spoiling us so much, even when we didn't deserve it.

My pawpaw may have been a scrooge with his money, but he taught his grandchildren early that if we wanted something, we had to save every last nickel and dime for it. That man was the first one to teach me how to read and write, and do math. He would ask me to read the newspaper to him before I was five years old and worked with me every day to make sure I loved learning.

Thank you pawpaw for teaching me frugality, to appreciate learning and making me work for what I wanted before anyone else did.

Mawmaw was a devout Christian her entire life and could quote any line in one of the three King James Bibles that were in the house. Every morning, she would drag us out of bed, make us look snazzy, get us in that old burgundy station wagon and take us to church. Mawmaw always dressed brighter than a purple petunia and smelled sweeter than one, too. I learned a lot in Barrett's Chapel Baptist Church about right and wrong, and I'm grateful for it.

Thank you, mawmaw, for the Sunday morning memories and amazing Sunday evening dinners with peanut butter cake and pecan pies made from scratch.

When I say we lived out in the boonies, we lived WAY out in the boonies without any neighbors around for miles. Pawpaw would always be outside working on something, and he taught me early about nature and "the woods," as well as to appreciate everything God provided for us in the world.

Thank you, pawpaw, for bringing me down to the creek for the coolest, crispest water I'll never be able to drink again.

My mawmaw is the first person I recall letting me drink coffee at the ripe young age of 8 years old. Of course, being older she drank decaffeinated coffee so it was no big deal to brew enough for me; it wasn't what we were drinking, it's how we drank it.

I would sit in the cold kitchen (we had tiny heaters to heat the ancient house, so it took a while) every morning and fix my cup of coffee and listen to my mawmaw and pawpaw talk. We would drink from old wooden cups and bowls, and seeing my mawmaw and pawpaw pour their coffee into their bowls every morning is one of the richest, heartwarming memories of my childhood.

Thank you, mawmaw, for spoiling me with coffee and treating me like a grownup before I knew how to act like one.

I lost my grandmother in 2010 when I was 13 years old. For the years prior, she suffered from Alzheimer's, a debilitating disease that took away her ability to remember and function properly. My grandfather suffered in the same sense after we lost our grandmother, and he passed in 2013.

Neither of my grandparents could recognize who I was by the time this disease took over their minds, but I know if they could see me now, they would be proud. Alzheimer's is a horrible disease that I wish nobody's family would have to experience. Hopefully one day, there will be a cure so we can all have more memories with our families.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

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3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

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4. The American Fraternity book

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5. Beer pong socks 

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6. Condom case

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Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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The Pain And Experience Of Losing A Grandparent Changed Me Forever

It is in those important moments in life, that I take a step back remember, laugh, love, and cry at the memories I have with my grandmother and why I am so thankful that I was blessed to be her granddaughter. And why after almost six years, I finally feel comfortable writing or talking about it.

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I remember the day my maternal grandmother passed away like it was yesterday, even though it was a warm May afternoon in 2012. I was in the seventh grade and was upstairs doing my homework when I heard a shriek come from my mother downstairs. I immediately ran to my sister's room, telling her that something has to really be wrong and we both proceeded to run downstairs as fast as we humanly could. And then it was as if time stood still when I saw the pain in my mother's eyes when she broke the news that her mother and my grandmother had just passed away

I stood still feeling as if I became further rooted in the ground, yet at the same time about to collapse at any second. I turned around and stared at a family portrait in the wall, looking into her puffy cheeks raised when she smiles, her love for color-coordinating her outfits, and just how happy she looked to be with her kids and grandkids. I looked at that picture and for a moment all the pain disappeared and it was as if she was looking at me and telling me that its okay and that she will forever be with me. And in the blink of an eye, I was snapped back into reality and the pain hit and as I looked around the room one thought never left my mind, "Why am I the only person not crying right now?" It was as if the pain I was experiencing couldn't be shown or expressed and it looked as if I was some empty human being with no feelings, but in reality, the shock I was going through hadn't settled and I was in fact just plain numb.

In the coming days and weeks, my life was rattled, my mother left immediately to go to India to attend my grandmothers funeral as well as family matters, my father had just moved across the country and didn't live with us during the week, and my 21-year-old sister had just come back from college and seemingly became my new mother. As a 13-year-old, this was so much to go through, I was finishing my seventh grade, preparing for a cross-country move from Boston to Arizona, and now my mother was across the world and I had just lost one of the most important people in my life.

It felt like my world was shattered yet at the same time I still had to wake up, go to school, study, do homework, and pretend as if nothing had happened. And that is when I mastered the act of pretending, pretending that I am okay, pretending that everything is fine, and pretending like not much is going on in my life. It was this act of pretending or what one of my high school teachers so aptly put it as, "fake it til you make it," that got me through that school year and summer. I did one of the worst things someone grieving could do, I suppressed all my feelings and pretended that it was all okay.

It took one July night, about two months after her death for it to hit me, I was alone in my bed just thinking and reflecting about my life, when every emotion I could feel overwhelmed my heart, mind, body, and soul, and I just sobbed for a good 1-2 hours in my bed. I cried about everything, everyone, and every emotion spilled out of my body faster than I could speak or even breathe. But, it was this moment where I felt free. I was free of the chains that I placed on myself, I was free to feel and experience the pain I had undergone, and I was free to be a human again, and not just a robot pretending to be fine.

That moment was one I have never told anyone about since it meant so much and was so powerful to me. I can say confidently that to this day the loss of my grandmother has never felt real. Yes, it has been six years, but time has helped me to heal my wounds and smile like the proud granddaughter I am every time that I close my eyes and see her smile, every time I feel her with me, and every time that I think of her. I know she would be proud of me for speaking out about what I went through, and I know that I am proud to be her granddaughter.

It took talking with one of my best friends for me to relive all of these emotions and decide that it was time to write about my experience. Losing a grandparent, or any loved one for that matter, shakes you to your core, but it is through these tough times that you come out a stronger and more resilient person. I firmly believe that in the times of tragedy, a whole new person is unleashed inside of you, and it is up to you to take this new strength and vulnerability and use it to succeed in everything that you do.

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