When Grandparents Live Nearby

When Grandparents Live Nearby

A reflection of gratitude.

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Dear Grandma and Grandpa,

I did not realize how desperately I needed a quick weekend trip to see you.

Presidents' Day weekend is a popular time for college kids to travel, either back home or with friends. I am so blessed that you are only an hour away from my college. Family time is so important to me, and I know I made the right choice to spend my weekend with you.

Thank you for teaching me love and how to love, showing me God's compassion through your actions and words, and treating me like an actual princess. College is fun but it can also be stressful. I know I am very high-strung, and I did not realize how exhausted I was, until I arrived at your warm home.

Grandma, I admire you and your passion for health. You define what it means to be a self-taught doctor and it is amazing you have the knowledge to use food and massage as medicine. Grandpa, I am still in awe that you are a graduate from Harvard Business School and that you currently spread the Word of God through your Catholic blog, "Celebrate the Psalms." Both of you constantly expand my own knowledge by sharing yours and by giving me the best advice.

Our weekend consisted of reviewing my old ballet videos (your favorite being Giselle), going through old photos, a beach walk at San Clemente, Mass, getting stuck in the rain, sleeping, homemade facemasks, taking new photos, and eating lots of healthy foods like Korean sweet potatoes.

Bundled up for a beach walk. Designer sunglasses, courtesy of grandma

I drifted in and out of naps listening to the rain, and also in and out of the kitchen to grab grandma's freshly cut vegetables, her purple rice (healthy mixture of black and white rice grains along with various beans, barley, and millet), and fruit smoothies. I laughed when I found a grain of rice in my hair! You took me to some of the best restaurants in town and listened to me talk about my life—school, dance, people, activities, etc. You even made sure I was able to get my daily work out in at Corepower yoga (or as grandma says, either corn-power or pore-power, hahahaha) and made time for truly whatever I wanted.

During the times I was stressed, you were patient and let me work. You were understanding and gave me the best therapeutic weekend anyone could dream of.

The only thing I regret is not thanking you enough and asking you how YOU were. I feel that I still have so much to learn from you. I hope to be like you both one day. The weekend was so short. I want you to know that I admire and am inspired by your accomplishments and I appreciate all that you have done for me. You comforted me and reminded me that everything is okay.

I already miss you even though you're one hour away. I love you so much. See you soon. God bless.

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When You Give A Girl A Papa

She'll learn enough lessons to last a lifetime.
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When you give a girl a Papa she'll have the best adventures.

She'll run around atop his shoulders and learn to fly. Her imagination will never run dry and she'll always be down for a laugh. He'll tell her stories and wipe away her tears. When you give a girl a Papa she'll have memories to last her years.

Papa is German for Dad but in America, it has become a slang term for grandpa. And while it is just a word, for some, it has a deeper meaning. Papa isn't just a grandfather, he's a best friend, the instigator of mischief, a protector, a storyteller, a rock, the strongest man you know and, most importantly, a hero.

Papa can turn ordinary, everyday activities into an adventure. From a young age, I was running behind him as quickly as my little legs could carry me ready for that day's adventure. I was always down for anything Papa was doing, following him in his daily chores and mimicking his every move. Cuddling up and watching sports in his lazy chair was my favorite time of the day because he always told the best stories. Sitting there hanging onto every word he said because it was the most important thing I ever heard.

Papa is full of experience and wisdom. His wise words provide comfort every time I am sad. He can always make me laugh to fight the tears away. I'm not sure how, but he always knows what to say to make me feel better. Papa is a fearless force that never bows and is never broken. He can weather all of the storms while smiling and laughing. I can only hope to have that resilience when facing life's problems. And when Papa was struggling with his own battles, I will stand right next to him, ready to fight and do all I can for him.

Papa can do a happy dance via the phone so he is the person to call when something good happens. He is always there to celebrate life and all its joy. And, even though he tried to hide them, he cried happy tears the day of my high school graduation. I pretended not to notice.

Leaving Nana and Papa's house is always the worst part of the trip. Driving away waving my hand in the air with tears welling in my eyes because I can't wait for the next adventure. Disappointing Papa was the scariest thing you I could think of, but I knew that he would never stay that way for long. There was always a lesson to learn from mistakes.

He is the man I model all men after. If they don't treat me the way Papa demonstrated, they are not worthy of my time. If they don't make me laugh or have that twinkle of passion in their eyes and fire in their soul like my Papa, then they aren't the man for me.

Papa is my hero. I would give anything to be like him, to stand strong and hold the world together when it just wants to fall apart. To be able to make anyone laugh and feel right at home. To fight for what I believe in and work hard to achieve my goals. To have charisma and charm. To deal with people who wrong me with class and kindness. To follow my faith with questions because that is the only way to make your beliefs stronger. To be the person everyone speaks of with a fond memory in their eye.

At the end of it all, he is my Papa and no one can take his place. I can and will drop anything to be by his side. He has shaped me into the person that I am working to be. I will always call him for advice and kind words.

Best friends come in many forms, but my favorite will always be my Papa.

Cover Image Credit: Jessica Goddard

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Poetry On Odyssey: A Poem For Grandma

To my wonderful best friend to kick off our summer together!

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views

NANA


Mother.

Wife.

Sister.

Friend.

Daughter.

Grandmother.

All the glorious roles you have held in life.

Always wearing a smile with lipstick covered lips.

With your blonde short hair.

And glasses covered eyes of blue.

All the wonderful characteristics that make up you.


Happy.

Chill.

Friendly.

Kind.

Just casually cruising through this thing called life, with the best sidekick by your side.

The best of friends is what we are.

I love you so much even though you love me more!

Simply because you're the big to my little.


We have inside jokes,

Sayings,

Stories,

And more.

Adventures after adventures.

That is how we roll.


I love you tremendously Nana and I am blessed that God decided to make us family!

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