You Are My Sunshine, My Only Sunshine

You Are My Sunshine, My Only Sunshine

"You make me happy when skies are gray"
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The call. The moment everyone dreads. The moment no one wants to experience.

I remember it clear as day. I was on my way to work, driving without a care in the world. I was listening to the radio and I remember a certain song came on. I had never heard of it before, but since I'm always looking for new music to listen to, I didn't change the station. I recall some of the lyrics that will stay with me forever:

"Just stop your crying, it's a sign of the times

Welcome to the final show

Hope you're wearing your best clothes

You can't bribe the door on your way to the sky

You look pretty good down here

But you ain't really good"

Looking back at it now, I realize it was a sign. Not a minute later I get a call telling me that you weren't doing so well... and that you wouldn't be able to bounce back from it this time. I didn't know what to think. I tried to stay strong. I don't really think I fully comprehended that it was really happening; I still don't. It doesn't feel real.

Looking back on all the memories is really bittersweet. I remember you always teasing me and calling me your "Miss P.i.t.t," and your "pain in the petunia." (I was a good kid, I promise). I remember you letting me help you cook every time you made fried chicken because I loved to help you (and of course you made the best chicken). I remember how we had the same beloved connection to angels and books and you always gave me some that you had owned. I also remember how you would sing "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine" to me and my siblings... Bittersweet doesn't even begin to cover it.

You were always so upbeat and happy. You always had a smile on your face. You never let me or anyone for that matter feel as though they were alone in this world or that they weren't understood or accepted. That was the true beauty in you. You were a gift to this world that not many people have the chance of receiving.

I always came to you about my problems, whether it be good or bad. You always gave me your best advice and were always there to comfort me. You were so good to me and everyone you came across. You were always a friend to everyone, never a bully nor a stranger. You were so full of love and care, anyone that met you couldn't help but love you back. You have a lot of people that love you Granny, and I know you know that.

It was hard to see you go. It still is, but we all know that you are finally at peace. You fought so hard and for so long. It was admirable. You fought until you couldn't anymore. You truly deserve the peace you have now received. I know I didn't call enough or come visit you enough because I was trapped in my own busy little world, but I will never take the memories I have of you for granted. I will cherish every little sign, memory, and thought of you. Words cannot describe the impact you have made on my life. With you, I have learned to open my heart and to love with all I have. You influenced me to be the best person I could possibly be, but to always hold my own. You make me and everyone that has met you proud to have had you in our lives. And if I haven't already, I hope to make you proud of who I am and where I'm going in my life. I know that you may not be with us in body, but you definitely will be with us in spirit and soul.

I don't know where you are Granny. Whether it be Heaven, Elysium, just in our hearts, or among the stars, just know that you will be missed dearly and that you are loved by many.

You will always be my sunshine Granny, but now you are also my angel.


Cover Image Credit: Stock Photo

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6 Places in New York City Every "Friends" Fan Needs to Visit

Grab a cup of coffee at Central Park.
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As a Friends fanatic myself, I often wonder about the places in New York City featured in the various episodes and whether I could actually visit them. Most of them are fictional or no longer exist, but there are a few places you can go to reminisce about your favorite Friends moments. So, here are 6 places in New York City you definitely need to visit as a Friends fan.

1. The Apartment Building, Obviously

The building used for the exterior shot of the apartments in Friends is real, and is located at 90 Bedford Street at the corner of Grove Street in Greenwich Village. It's an obvious must-see.

2. The Pullitzer Fountain

This is the fountain that the friends danced around in for the iconic theme song, and it's located right in Central Park.

3. Bloomingdale's

This is the department where Rachel worked before she moved on to Ralph Lauren, where she met Joshua, and where she started her career in fashion.

4. The Plaza Hotel

This is where Monica and Chandler celebrated their engagement in The One WIth Monica's Thunder, and is actually really gorgeous.

5. The Central Perk Replica

While Central Perk isn't a real coffee shop, a pop-up replica opened up in 2014 on Lafayette Street and it's definitely a must-visit.

6. Chandler's Office

The fictional Chandler works in the real Solow Building, located on West 57th street.

Cover Image Credit: Fame Focus

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A Letter To My Grandma Before We Say Goodbye

There are some things I want you to know before you go...

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Dear Mom-Mom,

I want you to know a few things before it's time for us to say goodbye— most importantly that I love you! I may not have shown that when I was younger and said some mean things, but that was then and this is now. I have and always will love you. You have always shown me unconditional love, and nothing can ever compare. I am sorry for the fight we had when I was younger and compared you to my other grandma because you are just as wonderful and I love you just as much. I never want you to think I don't love you because I always have and always will love you.

Thank you. Thank you for always looking after me and giving me all that you could offer. I still remember when I was younger and would go to your house after school every Friday and order that gross pizza you and I both hated, but Pop loved it. We would play all night until mom and dad came to get me. Thank you. Thank you for taking me out to buy toys or to eat at my favorite places. You always made sure I was at my happiest. I love you.

You are so strong. Remember when they told you, you didn't have that much longer to live. You only had a couple of years. That was my first birthday. You told them to let you out to right now to celebrate and they listened. But you didn't listen to them when they told you that you only had so much longer. You showed them. Here you are, 19 years later still showing them that those couple of years meant nothing, and they don't know what they're talking about. You are the strongest woman I know, and I am humbled to call you my grandmother. I love you.

Even right now, with all you are going through, you continue to show them they're wrong. You continue to keep living your life and not letting the doctors bring you down. You determine when it's time. You will never change. You still are always offering me food when I am over, cracking jokes and, of course, still being your feisty self. No matter what you go through, you always come out your strong, feisty self. You are amazing. I aspire to be you one day. Raising a family of four kids then taking in two more because that's the type of person you are. You are generous, kind hearted, funny and wonderful. There is no way I can come close to being as wonderful as you, but I can and will try. I love you.

It hurts me to think that days with you are slowly coming to an end, but that doesn't mean it's goodbye forever. I know you will always be by my side. I am so grateful for that. I am grateful for everything you have done for me. I know you will always look down on me to ensure I am being my best self and never lose sight of what is important. Keep pushing through and being the strong woman you are. I love you so much.

Love,

Emily

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