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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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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Even Though You Know You're Going To Lose Somebody, It Doesn't Make It Any Easier

Your mind understands what's going on, but your heart just doesn't want to let them go.

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Recently, my grandfather passed away just two days from returning to college. I knew that his days were limited, but I didn't realize how soon that was. My grandfather has had multiple cases of infections, even cancer and has bounced back from it and ended up being fine again. As a young girl, I had no idea that it was even going on at the time. He still worked at his job, even still participated in local committees and clubs.

However, since being away at my first semester, my grandfather had gotten sick. I wasn't worried about it because I knew he would bounce back again and be fine by the time I would have gotten home. However, that wasn't the case. In early October, my family had received the news that my grandfather was diagnosed with bone cancer, and he decided not to get treatment for it. I knew that he was dying, but I didn't know that in a short two months he would no longer be with us.

With a quick visit in October, a week or so after I found out the news, he was so ecstatic to see my face again because he would always say how much he missed me being home. That visit was the last time he said, "I love you." With being so far away, I realized that there was always a possibility of receiving "the call," and anytime my dad would call, my stomach would drop thinking that this was it.

Even with all the preparations being made ahead of time for my grandfather and knowing then that time was sooner than later, it still wasn't easy to see him lifeless and in so much pain. When he did pass, however, it still was hard to accept it once it did happen for me and the rest of my family.

Through the grieving process that has now started with my grandfather, I get drawn to this one verse in the bible that was said at his funeral service. Psalms 23:6 (ESV) "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever." I know now that he is in a better place, and he has reunited with his family members and will meet everyone else once we pass on.

Death is a hard topic to talk about, and even think about knowing that we someday we will pass on. But death should be more celebrated for then being pondered about. Personally, if someone can remember somebody in a positive manner, then their life was well lived and has impacted other people's lives.

I will always remember my grandfather's larger than life personality, his big heart for his family and others, and his smile. I'll miss him so much.

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