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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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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9 Reasons Your Grandparents Are The Best Gifts You'll Ever Receive

They love us unconditionally and are always there to lend a helping hand.

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Grandparents are special. They are the leaders and foundations of our families. They love us unconditionally and are always there to lend a helping hand. The spoil us way too often! My grandparents mean the world to me. The picture above is one of my favorite photos with both my mother and my grandfather when I was a little girl. They are some of the best people in my life and have always set a good example for me. Cherish them while you can because they won't always be around! Here are nine reasons your grandparents are the best gifts you'll ever receive!

1. They give the best advice.

2. They have a lot of life experience and are willing to share it with you.

3. Their smile makes your heart warm.

4. They are so intelligent.

5. They have the best stories to share.

6. They are a great example of love.

7. Their hugs are like no other.

8. They spoil their grandchildren.

9. They love you unconditionally.

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